Talk:Climatic Research Unit email controversy/Archive 40

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what the six inquiries really say

I've decided to actually dig out these inquiries since various editors are misrepresenting their contents both in the talk pages and in the lead. The first one I've looked at is the Independent Climate Change Emails Review. Rather than simply dismissing the allegations and finding a manufactured controversy, they found a number of allegations standing, and made specific recommendations to avoid scientists behaving this way in the future.

But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of the CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA, who failed to recognise not only the significance of statutory requirements but also the risk to the reputation of the University and, indeed, to the credibility of UK climate science.

On the allegation of withholding station identifiers we find that CRU should have made available an unambiguous list of the stations used in each of the versions of the Climatic Research Unit Land Temperature Record (CRUTEM) at the time of publication. We find that CRU‟s responses to reasonable requests for information were unhelpful and defensive.

On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a "trick" and to "hide the decline" in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text.

On the allegations in relation to withholding data, in particular concerning the small sample size of the tree ring data from the Yamal peninsula, CRU did not withhold the underlying raw data (having correctly directed the single request to the owners). But it is evidently true that access to the raw data was not simple until it was archived in 2009 and that this delay can rightly be criticized on general principles. In the interests of transparency, we believe that CRU should have ensured that the data they did not own, but on which their publications relied, was archived in a more timely way.

On the allegation that CRU does not appear to have acted in a way consistent with the spirit and intent of the FoIA or EIR, we find that there was unhelpfulness in responding to requests and evidence that e-mails might have been deleted in order to make them unavailable should a subsequent request be made for them. University senior management should have accepted more responsibility for implementing the required processes for FoIA and EIR compliance. [all emphases in original.]

So in all, there is a finding that they failed to uphold the law, that they may have deleted data, that they produced a misleading figure in an iconic report, and generally failed to provide data when they should have. And I believe all inquiries say the same thing. Thus, if the lead is going to be expanded beyond what Thepm proposed in good faith, then in the interests of balance, it has to clearly state this. Otherwise, it will simply be, like Phil Jones' WMO chart, misleading. Alex Harvey (talk) 11:30, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Cherry picking from primary sources is not allowed. As you have been repeatedly informed, we do not get to interpret primary sources or choose what we think is important or significant. We use reliable secondary sources to summarize the conclusions of the investigations, all of which say that the scientists were cleared of serious charges. Viriditas (talk) 13:10, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, and what does this reliable source say V? [2] Alex Harvey (talk) 13:41, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
It says, FOI requests were "not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation". That probably explains why I added the criticism to the lead that says that climate scientists were taken to task for their bunker mentality and lack of transparency. That's called a summary, Alex. You do understand, of course, that "a lack of transparency" refers to the FOIA allegations? More to the point, Alex, I have already addressed what has been done to prevent climate sceptics from manufacturing more conspiracy theories in the future. Please review this source for what is occurring now to address the open and transparent science. And please, stop trying to sensationalize this subject by using old sources that have been superseded by the results of the multiple investigations. Viriditas (talk) 13:48, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
You have worded the lead so as to imply that the 'inquiries' found absolutely nothing at all, whereas you have undefined 'commentators' '[taking] the scientists to task' for 'bunker mentality' and lack of 'transparency'. Yes, I know what you're hinting at, but this is not even vaguely a neutral representation of the article, or the reliable sources. It is, in fact, as I said, downright misleading. And it's regrettably only one of many problems introduced in your new lead. Meanwhile, your IWR source is not about Climategate per se, but about efforts towards making data more available. Why is this the source I should be using? This new Mother Jones is surely more appropriate. Finally, you tell me then which secondary sources you think are reliable for describing the inquiries. Alex Harvey (talk) 14:20, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
The scientists were cleared and exonerated of all major allegations promoted by climate skeptics and the science was found to be unchanged. Using primary sources to try alter or cast doubt on this conclusive result is not acceptable. You are welcome to find the most current reliable source to add what you think is missing, but the criticism boil down to bunker mentality and lack of transparency, and is properly summarized in the lead. Alex, do you believe the scientists were cleared and exonerated of all major allegations? Because that is what the most current sources report. Please use them. Viriditas (talk) 19:30, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
That's just false. I wouldn't have used the word "cleared", but it's certainly correct to say that no significant evidence was found for any of the major allegations investigated. There were some major allegations which were not investigated, and a number of minor allegations (some not made by climate skeptics) against the scientists which were established as accurate. We have primary and secondary sources for those facts. Hence, secondary sources which ignore those facts should be considered usable only for their opinions, rather than for facts. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:41, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
No, Arthur. What you have just stated is false. The reliable secondary sources are in unanimous agreement that the scientists have been cleared and exonerated of all serious/major allegations made by climate sceptics. This is a fact that I have documented here for your perusal. Continuing to deny this fact will result in sanctions, as BLP is taken very seriously. Viriditas (talk) 21:48, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely wrong. There were some major allegations which were not investigated, although I don't think we can document that fact, as the reliable sources have given up on the issues. It would be WP:SYNTESIS to point out a major allegation that was either not investigated or not in the charter of the 6 investigatory committees.
However, there were minor allegations which were upheld, as reported by primary and secondary sources.
  1. That many of the scientists did not follow proper procedures under the FOIA, and in replying to FOIA requests. (UEA was primarily blamed, by most of the committees which investigated that, but there were some reports of errors by CRU and individual scientists.)
  2. That improper statistical methods were apparently used. (I say "apparently", as the scientists were not forthcoming to the committees as to what statistical methods were used. That's not wrongdoing related to "Climategate", so it probably shouldn't be mentioned.)
  3. That the hockey stick graph was misleading, although not intentionally so. However, when the scientists were informed it was misleading, they made no effort to produce updated graphs.
And I should add the "the science was found to be unchanged" is false. The primary sources say "the science was not 'definitely found to be changed". Even if all the secondary sources were to report "the science was found to be unchanged", that's not adequate to support the statement, as all the changes could easily be caused by a single typo. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:39, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
No, you've distorted the findings and confirmed my original statement as correct and you are mistaken in you assumptions. Please provide current secondary sources that place these criticisms in the context of the post-investigation milieu. Please do not respond without presenting these sources. The lead already covers the bunker mentality and transparency criticism. Six investigations cleared and exonerated climate scientists of all serious/major allegations made by climate sceptics and the state of climate science remained unchanged. Scientists have committed to being more open and transparent with their data in the future. If you dispute this statement, Arthur, you will need to go report yourself for POV pushing at the fringe noticeboards, because this statement is the mainstream conclusion reached by the preponderance of current reliable secondary sources. No more games, Arthur. Stop using this talk page to promote petty conspiracy theories that rely on throwing mud and seeing if it sticks. The controversy is over. The conclusions have been reached, and the scientists have been exonerated and the science is sound. Viriditas (talk) 22:47, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Use of primary sources

There seems to be confusion here on how (or if) to use primary sources. Here's the policy: WP:PRIMARY, which says, inter alia:

Policy: Unless restricted by another policy, primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person, with access to the source but without specialist knowledge, will be able to verify are supported by the source...

Which seems reasonably clear, and is not what at least one editor has been arguing here. For instance, it would be in accordance with policy for us to quote the UK Information Commissioner's published opinion on the UEA's prima facie violation of the UK FOIA. Whereas interpreting that opinion would require a secondary RS. HTH, Pete Tillman (talk) 19:07, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Not when editors are using primary sources to distort the article. We already have a plethora of reliable secondary sources on this topic and no good reason to pick and choose from the primary in order to make alleged claims that illegal acts were committed. Tillman, Alex needs to find consensus for his edits, and judging by the archived discussion on this topic and the latest sources it is already accurately summarized. The major criticism found in the current reliable sources is that this boils down to CRU lacking open and transparent processes. It is already in the lead. Alex has also been given sources that show changes being implemented to promote transparency. He has refused to read or cite them. Further, primary source claims are being used to alleged "credible" acts of illegality against BLP's. Per WP:BLPPRIMARY:

Exercise caution in using primary sources. Do not use trial transcripts and other court records, or other public documents, to support assertions about a living person. Do not use public records that include personal details, such as date of birth, home value, traffic citations, vehicle registrations, and home or business addresses. Where primary-source material has been discussed by a reliable secondary source, it may be acceptable to rely on it to augment the secondary source, subject to the restrictions of this policy, no original research, and the other sourcing policies.

Alex, Tillman, etc. Find current, reliable secondary sources before you use primary sources to make serious allegations against BLP's. Viriditas (talk) 20:53, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
That's absurd. You are using unreliable secondary sources to make serious allegations against the authors of the primary sources. As for Tillman's example, at least two of the investigations agree with the UKIC's opinion, but not the wording. The primary source should be used, even if the news media misinterpret the phrase prima facie. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:35, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
What is absurd Arthur, is your continuing ignorance of policy and your utter refusal to abide by it. I have shown in the section below how we use secondary sources to refer to primary reports. This is not just policy when it comes to controversial articles that are infested by POV pushers, it is required when dealing with BLP's. Not a thing absurd about it. Your claim that I am using unreliable sources is not just lacking, it is something you invented. Editors cannot cherry pick from primary sources in controversial articles. That's what we use the secondary sources for at all times, especially when we are dealing with charges against living people, all of whom have been exonerated. You and Alex are trying to go above the secondary sources by using the primary sources without the guidance of the secondary. That isn't allowed Arthur, and you should know better. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge that the scientists have been cleared and exonerated of the most serious charges tells me you shouldn't be editing here. Viriditas (talk) 21:45, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
You're weakening your statement, again. You said before that the scientists had been cleared of all serious charges. You're now saying that the scientists have been cleared of the most serious charges, which I quite agree with. That should be in the article. "Moving the goalposts", indeed. (And I should have said, some of the news media and the committees misinterpret the phrase prima facie. It is reported correctly in the article at the moment, even though it doesn't seem to be adequately sourced.) And you're using Bob Ward's blog to support some of your accusations. That's not reliable, even if you trust it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:22, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Instead of finding current reliable secondary sources to support your statements as I've asked you to do, you are continuing to play games with language. I don't have an argument, I have the sources. We write articles based on the best sources available, all of which unanimously state that after more than six investigations, the scientists have been cleared of all major/seious charges/allegations made by climate sceptics. This article needs to be updated to reflect the most basic summary of these investigations in the body, and the conclusions reached. There are also new sources that demonstrate that scientists have responded to and acknowledged criticism of their past openness and transparency with a new approach to working closer with the pubic and making the data available to everyone.[3] Viriditas (talk) 22:29, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

"Malpractice" used in RS

We have this in our lede, and I like it, but hadn't seen this used in a RS. Here is one:

"The second [inquiry], with former civil servant Sir Muir Russell at the helm, was convened to look for evidence of malpractice within CRU, review its procedures for acquiring and processing data...." ClimateGate affair: 'Learn and move on', say MPs, BBC News 24 January 2011. --Pete Tillman (talk) 23:14, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Monbiot on the Muir Russell review

Here's Monbiot's list of key questions re CRU, from The 'climategate' inquiry at last vindicates Phil Jones – and so must I, 7 July 2010. Not used here (yet).

Monbiot lists these in reverse order of importance -- FOI was his first concern:

  • 1. The loss of Chinese weather station documents
  • 2. The failure to release data and analytical tools.
  • 3. Using improper methods to exclude papers from journals or from reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • 4. Frustrating freedom of information requests. CRU repeatedly sought to fend off legitimate requests. In one case Jones asked another scientist to delete some emails, apparently in breach of the law. In another message, Jones recommended that a colleague at CRU should make a false claim that he had not received certain documents relating to a review for the IPCC.

Might be a helpful source as we review the thing. --Pete Tillman (talk) 23:27, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for this and for your infinite patience. It's interesting to see the small shift in Monbiot's thinking after the conclusion of the various inquiries. I also think that Mother Jones 'Climategate: What really happened?' provides a good example of the minimum level of criticism that CRU and the various scientists need to have presented in this article in order for the reader to make sense of it. I think, also from looking at the Mother Jones piece, that this article is presently lacking an entire, important section, namely a history of events leading up to the Climategate controversy, i.e. some treatment of Mann's hockey stick graph, the MM controversy, Steve McIntyre's frustrated requests for data, the Yamal data requests in the weeks and months just before November 2009, and so on. It would make it clearer that there are two equally possible reasons for the timing of the scandal: (1) McI's log of FOIA requests had just naturally reached boiling point; something had to give; and (2) Copenhagen. Some of this article, I think, is quite good. Alex Harvey (talk) 08:52, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
See WP:COATRACK. The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 13:29, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Note also that Pete has thrown in some allegations that don't appear in Monbiot's article, while omitting Monbiot's finding that most of these questions had been answered by the inquiry. The Mother Jones article is interesting, do we consider this a reliable source? . . dave souza, talk 08:38, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Er, Dave, the list is cut & pasted direct from Monbiot. Look again? Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 20:24, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
On recheck, accept the list which is partly trimmed. However, note Monbiot largely accepts the inquiries findings. "Overall it shows, in most cases persuasively, that there is no evidence of fraud, manipulation or a lack of rigour and honesty on the part of the CRU scientists. The science is sound; the IPCC has not been compromised." . . dave souza, talk 21:44, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Mother Jones is not needed. All of the information we need can be found in other, less controversial, less partisan sources. Once you allow Mother Jones to be used here, the game of tit for tit using partisan sources will start up, and that's the plan. On Wikipedia, it is best to avoid partisan sources unless there is a need to represent an opinion only covered by that source, in which case it could be useful. Is there unique content in Mother Jones that isn't found in other "straight" news stories? Not that I can see. In controversial articles and topics that attract a lot of political and fringe opinions like climate conspiracies, we need to maintain the highest quality of sources we can find. Viriditas (talk) 10:15, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Second to V. on this. So perhaps Monbiot isn't the best choice, either, except for his own opinion -- and he is a prominent player. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 22:04, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Parenthetically, I'll add that even our highest-quality sources -- forex, for US newspapers, NY Times & WS Journal -- get pretty political sometimes, too. Editorial discretion is called for, and cool heads here. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 22:07, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

DDOS requests

I've tracked down some of the primary sources for one of the wide-scale flurries of FOI requests that was organised in Summer 2009 in the lead up to the CRU hack. First the blogger publishes a letter from the Information Policy and Compliance Manager at the University of East Anglia that lists the regulations that at that time prevented the release of some requested data, and explaining his rights of appeal to UEA or ICO. He publishes the letter saying, "I’ve included full address particulars for readers that may wish to follow up". Then in this comment he adds, "I suggest that interested readers can participate by choosing 5 countries and sending the following FOI request to david.palmer at [followed by pro-forma request]", and "please post up a copy of your letter so that we can keep track of requested countries". I was interested to see this comment where a reader says, "I assume that the reference number [FOI_09-100] means that this is the 100th email Palmer has received! This will presumeably totally foul up his plans for a vacation."

We can't use a blog as a WP:RS in general, but WP:SPS says that a self-published statements may be used as sources of information about themselves, e.g. in articles describing the writer's activities, provided "there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity" and "the article is not based primarily on such sources." Therefore if we are going to cover the FOI aspects of this controversy, I propose that we must start the story from the beginning, with material like this as the background to the events of Nov 2009, and as background to the content in some of the hacked emails dating from that period. --Nigelj (talk) 13:16, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree there was any 'DDOS' attack. Meanwhile, I don't have any objection to a more liberal, common sense interpretation of WP:SPS (and WP:PRIMARY for that matter), what you're proposing seems to be a difficult research programme and more to the point a recipe for conflict. Steve McIntyre's blog posts on the subject of obtaining data from the CRU and other researchers span years and must number in the hundreds. Who could say which ones have proper weight or put them into context? I've just proposed a source that has all of the historical slant that most of the editors here favour so I'm not sure I see what the problem is with following a structure similar to the Mother Jones piece? Alex Harvey (talk) 15:07, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Alex re the practical difficulties of sourcing Climate Audit (or any such blog). Additionally, Nigel mentions reader posts to the blog, which IB are verboten by policy. I have no particular opinion re the RS status of Skeptical Science, but agree that it would seem a useful minimum standard for what we should include here -- since they do seem biased towards the so- "warmist" position re AGW. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk)
The SI secondary source quotes the harassment from the primary House transcript. There is no such thing as a "warmest" view here. Attempting to legitimize the discredited lunatic fringe conspiracy claims of the climategaters is akin to promoting birther and truther nonsense. The line has been drawn. Viriditas (talk) 00:31, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
When someone uses the provocative term "warmist" to refer to the scientific consensus, they are signaling that there is no longer a possibility of constructive discussion with them. The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 02:34, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi Spirit of Neutrality, I think Pete was using "warmist" in a fairly harmless sense of 'for want of a better word'. But maybe you could help us understand what Viriditas meant by those '[a]ttempting to legitimize the discredited lunatic fringe conspiracy claims of the climategaters'? Tips on how to engage in rational dialogue with an editor who continues post after post with this sort of invective are welcomed. Pete and I have been finding sources that are sympathetic to your own version of history here. It is very hard to see what we could possibly do to make you all happier. Alex Harvey (talk) 04:53, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
For a start, I for one would be happier if Alex and Pete represented sources accurately rather than throwing in their own (or blog sourced) conspiracy theories which attempt to deny or denigrate the clear majority expert views on the issues. . . dave souza, talk 08:41, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
And Viriditas, and Nigelj (his sources, although not blogs, do not reflect what he says they do.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:50, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, is there a reason my name appears in the above comment? I don't believe you have ever provided a single source for anything you've ever written here, even though I've asked you over and over again to do so. Viriditas (talk) 09:54, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Re: "DDOS": Page 90 in the 2010 ICEE review (Chapter 10 point 23) shows quite clearly that this happened in the third quarter of 2009. As for using non-WP:RS: No, we shouldn't - no matter what "slant" such non reliable sources have. There is a plethora of reliable sources available on this topic - using unreliable or biased sources should never be done in such a case. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 10:09, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  • @ Nigel, that's useful primary source info which might be used to provide a check on secondary sources covering the topic, of course our coverage should be based on the reliable secondary sources. If we use the Mother Jones article, p. 3 covers this very issue, noting that in June 2009, McIntyre "penned an angry screed on Climate Audit. In just the last week of July 2009, CRU received 58 FOIA requests from McIntyre and others (PDF) affiliated with Climate Audit. CRU head Phil Jones argued that responding to these requests was creating an unmanageable burden." Mother Jones gets the opening to this issue wrong, saying that McIntyre was thwarted by CRU refusing "his attempts to procure the crucial global temperature data sets that are jointly held by the CRU and the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre". These datasets are freely downloadable, what McIntyre wanted was the raw data used to compile the datasets, which is held by the Met Office and other national organisations that do not allow users (including CRU) to pass the raw data on to others outwith the team actually working on the analysis producing the dataset. Details of this are given by Olive Hefferman in Nature.[4][5] Other secondary sources may also cover this issue. . . . dave souza, talk 09:07, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
    Thanks Dave. Of course I knew that my sources were inadequate at this stage, but I also knew that if I made a stab at it, people here would help fill in the details and help track down the better sources. It is all well documented this far down the line. I would be disappointed and disheartened if anybody tried to personalise this collaborative effort, as if looking for the best sources was an us-against-them process. --Nigelj (talk) 09:30, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, I think we all agree on the spirit in which primary sources may be reasonably used by Wikipedians and thank Nigel for his suggestions. But let's put all of this into proper context (NOTE: I have no knowledge of a mistake that the Mother Jones article may have made as suggested by Dave).
    This all relates to section 10.4 and 10.5 of the inquiry Kim linked just above.
    • Point 19 simply clarifies an aspect of the FOI legislation.
    • Point 20 states that requests to the CRU for information began in 2005 and proposes three groupings: (1) those before the FOIA legislation but when a precursor of the EIR regime was in operation; (2) 2005-07 when the CRU handled requests informally; and (3) after 25th Jan 2007 when formal FOI requests were logged.
    • Point 21 quotes a fairly damning email without comment, to show that information requests to the CRU actually began as early as 2004.
    • Point 22 shows that initially there were hardly any formal requests for data. Prior to what Nigel & Kim are calling the 'DDOS' there were only 4 requests in 07, 2 in 08, and 1 in the first half of 09.
    • Point 23 probably relates to the 'angry screed' mentioned in the Mother Jones piece, when CA readers started (presumably) sending frivolous requests at the direction of an angry Steve McIntyre.
    • Point 24 relates to a wave of requests that began the day after the Climategate emails were released.
    • Section 10.5 "findings", Point 25 finds that "Whilst we did identify evidence that UEA had widely distributed initial guidance at the introduction of the FoIA/EIR regimes in 2005, we also found a lack of engagement by core CRU team in understanding EIR/FoIA legal requirements and how these might legitimately impact them."
    • Point 26, finds that, perhaps I had better quote it in full, so that no one can claim I am putting a spin on it:

    Foresight lacking. We found a lack of recognition by both CRU, and the University‘s senior management of the extent to which earlier action to release information or give full guidance to locate primary sources and to provide station identifiers might have minimized the problems. There are many references in the e-mails now in the public domain to ―hiding information‖, ―finding ways around releasing‖, or finding excuses not to release information. There was a fairly swift shift towards a lack of sympathy with the requesters, as seen in an e-mail from Jones sent on 7th May 2005 (1083962092.txt): ―Mike and I are not sending anything, partly because we don't have some of the series he wants, also partly as we've got the data through contacts like you, but mostly because he'll distort and misuse them.‖

    We do not suggest that the allegations made against McIntyre are correct.

    Note that again, "We do not suggest that the allegations made against McIntyre are correct."
    • Point 27 finds that CRU responses were "unhelpful". We found a tendency to answer the wrong question or to give a partial answer." An example of this follows, where the conclusion is that six months of Steve McI's time was wasted for no good reason.
    • Point 28 discusses "deliberate actions to avoid release" of information and data. "There seems clear incitement to delete e-mails, although we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made." Evidence follows of the incitement to delete emails. Evidence is also given that CRU staff had been warned not to delete emails by the IPCM.
    • Point 29 is critical of the IPCM itself for not exerting more authority over the CRU staff.
    • Point 30 to be frank I don't fully understand, seems to be criticising IPCM processes.
    • Point 31 criticises a general lack of communication within the university and the IT departments on how long data needs to be kept in order to comply with FOIA law.
    • Point 32 is crucial, again I quote in full:

    The Review found an ethos of minimal compliance (and at times non-compliance) by the CRU with both the letter and the spirit of the FoIA and EIR. We believe that this must change and that leadership is required from the University‘s most senior staff in driving through a positive transformation of attitudes. Public trust in science depends on an inherent culture of honesty, rigour and transparency. The requirements of FoIA and EIR must not be seen as impositions. They are a necessary part of the implicit contract between the scientist and broader society. Such an open culture will also lead to the best science.

    Thus, I have summarised an entire, crucial section of one inquiry, and our article needs to give expression to this crucial section, while of course also emphasising that other serious allegations against the CRU of fraud and so on were found to be without basis. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:38, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, why are you posting this rather long list? And why are you providing your own POV/Original research commentary? What exactly are you proposing to do with this? And what makes you conclude that this is a "crucial section" in one inquiry? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:30, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Because editors here appear to be trying to rewrite history to say that the CRU scientists would have acted in good faith were it not for the fact that Steve McIntyre arranged a DDOS of FOI requests which made it impossible for the CRU scientists to respond to FOI requests. On the contrary, while the inquiry noted at one point a kind of DDOS of FOI requests was issued (that was probably initiated by the angry screed referred to in the Mother Jones article), the inquiry did not see this as the cause of the CRU scientists' bad handling of the FOIA requests. I say this section is crucial because no one can possibly understand what Climategate was about without a discussion of FOI requests. E.g., the Mother Jones piece discusses the FOI aspect at reasonable length. Alex Harvey (talk) 07:29, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, you are certainly entitled to your own personal opinions. But the inquiry report that you are referring to, does not support your assertion - without large jumps to conclusions. Your personal comments on what you believe each point to represent was not useful. Your assertions that "editors here appear to be trying to rewrite history" is not appreciated, nor is it correct from what i've seen. Finally the "crucial" issue is not supported by the M.Jones article, which is primarily focused on the "DDOS" issue and it basically asserts that CRU was correct in their estimation of McIntyre as someone who "gets a rise out of irking scientists. But then i do not find the MJones article a relevant source for this article. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:28, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Your assertion that my good faith breakdown of the inquiry text was "POV/Original research commentary" was also not appreciated. If you feel some of my paraphrases were misleading, tell me which ones and suggest a different paraphrase. Or better still, why not summarise it yourself so there can be no more argument? I don't believe it's even possible to put a spin on this text. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:51, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Allegations made by climate sceptics

In this diff, Arthur Rubin changed

Over the course of the next year, six separate inquiries looked into the allegations made by climate sceptics. None of the inquiries found evidence of any scientific misconduct.

to the following:

Over the course of the next year, six separate inquiries looked into the allegations. None of the inquiries found evidence of scientific misconduct.

Please note, Arthur Rubin removed the statement "allegations made by climate sceptics" which has been repeatedly sourced on this talk page and in the current article, for example, Goertzel (2010) and Gillis (2010) as only two of dozens. This is a statement of fact that is neither controversial or disputed. So, why would Arthur Rubin remove it?

In the edit summary of this change, Arthur Rubin wrote, "SERIOUS POV violation, not matching the body". I am at a loss trying to understand why Arthur Rubin made this change, or what his edit summary was supposed to mean, because from the looks of it, it was Arthur Rubin who made the "serious POV violation".

Throughout this talk page, Arthur Rubin has been positing OR and his personal pet theories about the climategate conspiracy without sources. He has been asked repeatedly to provide them, and he has refused. Arthur Rubin believes that "the investigations did not exactly "exonerate" CRU nor "proved [all of] the allegations false". Arthur Rubin is welcome to that opinion, however, he is not welcome to edit Wikipedia and add his personal opinions to our articles.

I've already covered this several times previously, but Arthur Rubin continues to pretend that I' haven't, so I'm covering it yet again. According to the reliable secondary sources (and this is just a small sample, there are literally dozens):

  1. "Sceptics claim the e-mails, leaked after a UEA server was hacked into, showed data was being manipulated." (BBC News 2009)
  2. "The emails, dating back as far as 1996, have been cited by sceptics of man’s contribution to global warming as evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data to support research." (Bloomberg 2009)
  3. "[Jones] said he would stand aside as director until the completion of the independent review, which is being conducted in the wake of the allegations by climate 'sceptics'."( 2009)
  4. "To global-warming doubters, the CRU e-mails are the new Pentagon Papers, proof that the powers that be — in this case, international climate scientists — are engaged in outright fraud and were exposed only by a brave whistle-blower...Many skeptics argue that the case for man-made global warming has been essentially undone, and that before the world goes any further in considering action to control greenhouse-gas emissions, all scientific evidence for warming must be reevaluated...e-mails seemingly confirm what skeptics had long suspected — that the globe in recent years wasn't warming as fast as theories on climate change had assumed...e-mails suggests that climate scientists are mired in groupthink, utterly resistant to skeptical viewpoints and willing to use pressure to silence dissenters of the global-warming mainstream. In other words, the e-mails showed what Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner called "scientific fascism," which he argues is "at worst ... junk science" and "part of an international scientific fraud."(Time magazine 2009)
  5. "At issue are thousands of e-mails hacked from computers at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia...Climate skeptics argue that those e-mails demonstrate ethical lapses on the part of prominent climate scientists and demonstrate that they manipulated data to substantiate their claims on climate change." (The New York Times 2009)
  6. "Sceptics claimed the messages showed evidence scientists were trying to exaggerate the case for global warming in the run-up to December’s UN climate talks aimed at striking a new accord to tackle climate change." The Times (South Africa) 2010
  7. "Skeptics say scientists have secretly manipulated climate data and suppressed contrary views - allegations that have been denied by researchers and the climate change panel."(Associated Press 2010)
  8. "Climate change ‘sceptics’ have accused Professor Phil Jones of conspiring with his collaborators to manipulate climate data and the scientific literature..." (Nature 2010)
  9. "All five investigations have come down largely on the side of the climate researchers, rejecting a number of criticisms raised by global-warming skeptics." (The New York Times 2010)
  10. "...climate contrarians' widely publicized accusations about a noted British climate research unit's alleged misconduct have now been examined and, largely, rebuked....Two independent investigations...found that while the unit's record-keeping practices could have been better, the most serious accusations against CRU and climatologist Phil Jones, its director, are unfounded. Together with the earlier exoneration of Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael E. Mann of similar complaints against him...the so-called Climategare hacked email episode now seems to have been resolved--overwhelmingly in favor of the climate scientists. The contrarians' most serious accusations have been subjected to four investigations and found invalid in each case."(Skeptical Inquirer 34.4 2010)

This claim that climate skeptics have accused scientists of being involved in a conspiracy and manipulating climate data is the central thesis of the climategate conspiracy theory. It forms the basis for the major/serious allegations and this is repeatedly cited to impeccable sources. So why did Arthur Rubin remove it from the article? Viriditas (talk) 10:52, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

The way it's currently phrased, it sounds like there were allegations made by people other than climate sceptics and that those allegations were not looked into. I assume that the majority of the allegations came from climate sceptics but that others may have made allegations too. I also assume that all the allegations were "looked into" (not just the allegations made by climate sceptics). I suggest that you should make the point that most, many, the overwhelming majority, a vast preponderance of the allegations were made by climate sceptics in a separate sentence (if you haven't done so already). --Thepm (talk) 11:49, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, it was supposed to be preceded by "Two weeks after the event, global climate talks began at the Copenhagen Summit amidst the background of the controversy, with scientists and their research under attack" followed by another sentence describing the attacks by climate sceptics. The Copenhagen material was removed for no reason as were the attacks. It is important to mention that the attacks occurred in this context. Time magazine, among many other sources, said:

When "Climategate" broke on Nov. 20, with hackers stealing and subsequently releasing more than a thousand apparently dubious e-mails by renowned climate scientists, the timing couldn't have been more inconvenient for advocates of action on climate change. The major U.N. global-warming summit in Copenhagen was just a few weeks away, and the U.S. Senate was starting work on a bill that would cap U.S. carbon emissions. It was the eve of a month in which crucial decisions could be made in the global effort to curb climate change before its effects become truly dangerous...It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to note that the e-mails — which were stolen, after all — were released right before the Copenhagen summit. Despite continued bickering and disagreement, the world is now closer to acting on global warming than it has ever been...the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spending millions to fight cap and trade, in part by casting suspicion over the science of climate change. "Basically what they're doing is trying to sell doubt," says Hoggan. "If you can produce enough doubt, you don't need a logical counternarrative. You just undermine any effort to deal with this."[6]

That doubt was sown by climate sceptics. It does not sound like it was made by other people. Who would those other people be? This context needs to be added back. It is an essential plot point of the narrative. Viriditas (talk) 12:06, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Viriditas... do you accept that others who were not skeptics made the same allegations? E.g. Andrew Revkin on 20th Nov 2009 (shown above), George Monbiot on the 23rd Nov 2009 (shown above)? As well as Judith Curry, Eduardo Zorita, Mike Hulme, Roger Pielke Jr. (all from memory) and so on? This is a fact, not a matter of opinion, and it shouldn't really even be up for discussion. Any one of us can see that Revkin & Monbiot were of the earliest to make the allegations. So if you have a source that is stating something that you know is factually incorrect, you can simply ignore it. We all know that not everything printed in what would otherwise be a reliable source is always accurate. We are trying to get this article right. Right? Alex Harvey (talk) 12:48, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Did any of the people you refer to actually imply fraud or conspiracy? Many people made various claims and comments about the emails - but the serious allegations are that fraud was committed. The point is: Climate sceptics were the ones that made the claims - that there was exceptions to this rule, doesn't make the rule (or the reliable sources) false. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:42, 1 May 2011 (UTC) Addendum: Can i suggest that you reference each of the persons you mention with the claim that they made? That way it is not just "from memory" but actually backed by reliable sources. (No. The links have not already been provided). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:47, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
To V: While it's true that some allegations were not looked into, I removed the phrase "made by climate sceptics" as unnecessary. You said the allegations, which refers back to the previous paragraph. (It should be so considered to do so even with the "attacks" sentence in place.) The lede, (at least up to that point), does not acknowledge the existence of allegations not made by climate sceptics, or whether they were investigated. V's desired phrasing implicitly emphasizes claims not made by climate sceptics, implying they may or may not have been investigated, although has no effect on the denotation, only on connotation, and (at least V) thinks that the connotation is incorrect. <Addendum> I was wrong as to denotation. V's desired phrasing explicitly excludes claims not made by sceptics, implying they were not investigated. </Addendum>
To KDP: Doesn't the claim that the serious allegations are that of fraud require a reliable source? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:59, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, Read the reports from the inquiries - they are all WP:RS's. It is not a "claim" that the serious allegations were of fraud. All of the reports reflect and expand on this. So i'm a bit confused here.... You have read the inquiries - right? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:26, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Are you claiming that FOIA violations would not be serious? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:43, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Exactly what part of my comments made you think that i in any way commented on FoIA? But to answer: breaches of FoIA regulations while serious is not in the same category as the other claims (inappropriate manipulation of data, deletion of adverse data, falsifying data, ... => scientific fraud). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:01, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

On FOIA, the findings clearly show the scientists continuing to comply with scientific norms in terms of releasing data and methods, but becoming defensive under incessant demands to provide more information than that for no apparent scientific purpose. They were ill prepared for the introduction of the UK FOIA, and changing expectations which now require scientists to release information to those not intending to carry out scientific work with that information.
The Muir Russell report makes various recommendations aimed at increased release of data and responsiveness to FOIA requests, but significantly section 34 also recommends that UK FOIA practice be brought more into line with the U.S. "Shelby Amendment" which excludes "preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues."
The prominently reported "prima facie" case of a breach of FOIA related to email communications with colleagues, so had it been investigated it's questionable if it could or should have been regarded as a serious breach. The ICO may well differ, but there's a proper debate about whether such FOIA demands "could seriously impair scientific research and collaboration". Section 34 also discusses procedures for dealing with "orchestrated campaigns". . dave souza, talk 17:39, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

To KDP: My recollection is that the FOIA violation allegations were not brought by climate sceptics, but by the ICO. Hence the claim that all serious allegations were made by sceptics requires that the FOIA allegations are not serious (which requires a source), that the ICO is a climate sceptic organisation (again, requiring or source), or that not all serious violations were brought by climate sceptics. In regard this section of the lede, all I'm saying is that we should not say or imply that all serious allegations were brought by sceptics, that only allegations brought by sceptics were investigated, or anything of that sort, unless (at least) we have a specific WP:RS supporting the statement.
To Dave: I think we disagree, both as to the facts and as to the interpretation of the Muir Russel report, but it's not important to what I'm saying in this discussion. If accurate, it would counter some of Alex's claims, and it would suggest that the FOIA issue is too complicated to summarize in the lede. It does not suggest that the FOIA issue shouldn't be mentioned in the lede. — Arthur Rubin (talk)
Arthur, your "recollections" need to turn into a reliance on what reliable sources say instead - especially since your recollection is incorrect, the FoIA thing was raised before the ICO commented (read the archives for this article talk, #1 and #2 contains examples), not the least because of the name of the archive file in which the emails were stored. On the second point: Dave's comments are correct - if you want to read the specifics about it - then i suggest that you turn to chapter 10 point 34 (page 94) in the latest iCCE review, which is the recommendation to the ICO for a Shelby like amendmend. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:24, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
<ec> Self professed "sceptics" like Dellingpole Jonathan Leake rushed to accuse scientists of refusing to release data and misrepresented the ICO statement as though it was about a request for data,[7] these allegations related to FOIA requests were unfounded. I've provided a source for the facts I've shown, something [Arthur] should always endeavour to do. . . dave souza, talk 18:28, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
All else aside, don't FOIA responsibilities lie with the institution, not the individual? Guettarda (talk) 18:44, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Under Section 77 of the UK legislation, prosecutions can be brought against individuals under certain circumstances. These prosecutions are under the Magistrates act, which means they are time-barred if not raised in a set time. The ICO investigated the particular issue in relation to the instution's responsibilities, but as the complainant "was "content not to proceed with his complaint in relation the public authority’s failure to provide him with the information he had requested", decided no further action was needed. So, doesn't sound as though it was very serious, other than giving the skeptik a chance to get a scientist prosecuted. . . dave souza, talk 19:47, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I'll withdraw my comments relating to the FOIA allegations not being brought by climate sceptics. I still disagree with Dave's interpretation of the Muir Russel report, but it doesn't relate to this disucssion. However, the grammatical argument against V's form still applies, unless we have a specific reliable source which asserts that all allegations came from climate sceptics, or that some allegations not from climate sceptics were not investigated. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:23, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I'll agree to disagree. . . dave souza, talk 19:47, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, this may come as a surprise to you, but on Wikipedia we don't use the Chewbacca defense to defend our edits to articles. You have now made two reverts with two conflicting rationales, and you have now offered a third red herring above. In this discussion, I have provided you with nine sources ([8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]) that show that the allegations were made by climate sceptics. In your first revert, you claimed this undisputable fact supported by virtually all reliable secondary sources and news organizations was a "serious POV violation".[17] There is not a single shred of evidence that supports this claim. When you were given sources and asked to provide your own, you then removed the same non-controversial statement for the second time with a different explanation. Now, you claim that the statement was "unecessary [sic] as the sentence begins the allegations".[18] This is yet another nonsensical explanation from Arthur Rubin. In the above comment, you expand on your newest rationale for deletion of the fully sourced statement, saying that your "grammatical argument...still applies, unless we have a specific reliable source which asserts that all allegations came from climate sceptics, or that some allegations not from climate sceptics were not investigated." Arthur Rubin, there is no such argument and it does not apply. Chewbacca may lived on Kashyyyk, but you still need reliable sources to support your edits. Since you do not have them and are just making up absurd red herrings out of thin air, I will ask at this time that you refrain from removing this statement until you can actually show sources that dispute it. Your two arguments for removal have been shown to be explicit red herrings designed to obfuscate this discussion and obstruct the editing process. Either offer reliable sources that support your claims, or remain silent. I would like to point out that this kind of deceptive editing is expressly prohibited by the general sanctions in place. According to the final decision of the climate change case, "administrators are expected to adhere to this at a higher standard" and "edit-warring, disruptive point-making, and gaming the system, are all unacceptable as they are inconsistent with Wikipedia's expected standards of behavior and decorum." As an administrator, Arthur Rubin should familiarize himself with this case decision. He should also be aware that any further disruption will result in a report. Viriditas (talk) 20:14, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Viriditas: I would tread very cautiously in threatening other editors with disciplinary action. Since you yourself are skating on thin ice in this respect. TIA, Pete Tillman (talk) 20:33, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
    • I think there is enough evidence of disruption in this thread alone. Arthur Rubin claims that the statement in the lead "explicitly excludes claims not made by sceptics, implying they were not investigated". He's been asked for sources to support this (and he's never provided a single source when asked) such as those showing serious allegations of conspiracy and manipulation of data by non-climate sceptics. I've provided sources showing the statement is fully supported. There will be no sources forthcoming from Arthur Rubin, because he is making shit up. Viriditas (talk) 21:12, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't need to supply sources for the lede; I only need to point out that the lede doesn't reflect the body of the article. The changes I made most recently, are the following:
  • Removing the unsourced easter egg [[climate change denial|climate sceptic]], as the sources say "sceptic" or "skeptic", and
  • Removing the repeated phrase "by climate sceptics". Even though I was apparently mistaken in my assertion that there were serious allegations not made by sceptics, we don't have a source that all allegations were made by sceptics, or even that all allegations investigated were made by sceptics. "The allegations" in the second paragraph clearly refers to the allegations mentioned in the first paragraph, which were first mentioned by sceptics, if not necessarily made by sceptics. Repeating the phrase clearly indicates some other intent then a simple declarative; if you want to tell me what you mean by it, perhaps we can come up with a phrasing which doesn't imply things for which we have no source.
Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:20, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm going to need some sources for your observations. We don't do original research on Wikipedia. I have provided more than 9 sources supporting the statement in its entirety. You have not demonstrated anything wrong with using the phrase, and you've moved the goalposts each and every time I've addressed your claims. First you claimed it was POV, but when asked how it was POV when all the sources support it, you dropped that argument and claimed it was a "repeated phrase". No, in fact, it was not a repeated phrase at all. What it originally said was that after the hacking "allegations arose in the climate sceptic blogosphere, claiming that the emails revealed professional malpractice within the climate science community." Then, in an entirely different paragraph, it said that "six separate inquiries looked into the allegations made by climate sceptics" making it clear that the investigations addressed the original allegations by the climate sceptics. That the allegations originally arose in the blogosphere, and that the allegations were addressed in the investigations are two different phrases in two different paragraphs, discussing two different topics. Attributing the type of blogosphere and the type of allegations are also two different descriptions, and you appear to have confused them. A simple mistake, but now that it has been pointed out to you, I would hope that you would take a step back and review the sources on the subject. As far as I can tell, you still haven't actually read a single source that has been provided. Viriditas (talk) 08:27, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
That comment doesn't agree with what I know of (at least American) English grammar.
  • "...looked into the allegations made by climate sceptics" ...
would mean that only the allegations, among the ones previously mentioned, made by climate sceptics, are being described. As they were previously described as arising in the sceptic blogosphere, that would have to have some significance.
  • "...looked into allegations made by climate sceptics" ...
would break the connection between the allegations in the first and second paragraph, and is substantially sourced. I don't think it's what you want, though.
  • "...looked into the allegations" ...
Would just mean that they (the investigations) looked into the allegations mentioned in the previous paragraph. I'm not sure that's precisely correct (and sourced), but I don't have any specific examples or sources to the contrary, and it's substantially correct and sourced.
This argument applies even if the intervening sentence about Copenhagen were in place. I don't remember why (or if) I removed that one. It seemed out-of-place, even if sourced (although, again, not in the body of the article). — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:25, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Your response is neither helpful nor informative, Arthur. I'm warning you for the last time, if you make another edit to this article without providing current reliable sources that support your edits, I will request arbitration enforcement. Your opinions about American English grammar are red herrings that do not address the central point under discussion. As I previously explained to you, describing the type of blogosphere as one of cimate scepticism and attributing the allegations as those of climate sceptics are two different statements in two different paragraphs in two different contexts of usage. You are trying to change the subject with your irrelevant appeal to grammar. I have now provided you with ten sources ([19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27],[28]) that show that the allegations were made by climate sceptics. There are another 20 current sources that say the same thing. Viriditas (talk) 22:51, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

One-revert rule applies here, but has drawbacks

From WP:1RR

An editor must not perform more than one revert on a single page within a 24-hour period. Undoing another editor's work—whether in whole or in part, whether involving the same or different material each time—counts as a revert. Violations of the rule normally attract blocks of at least 24 hours. Any appearance of gaming the system by reverting a second time just outside the 24-hour slot is likely to be treated as a 1RR violation. See here for exemptions.

I'm posting this as a reminder, since I got caught inadvertantly going over the 1RR rule TOD. For the above, I subbed a 1RR into the 3RR boldface policy statement (which I'm pretty sure is correct).

I will note that some editors style, of making a series of small edit changes, tends to protect their work from reversion. I'm certainly not saying this is deliberate, as different editors have different styles of work. I'm more of a "lumper", myself. But it does point out a weakness in the sanction. I would hope that, if push came to shove, ArbComm would treat a series of closely-related edits made in a short time as a single "1RR" event, but the policy page doesn't address this, sfaict. --Pete Tillman (talk) 22:21, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Policy does address closely-related edits, with this: A series of consecutive saved revert edits by one user with no intervening edits by another user counts as one revert. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:27, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah. Thanks, Kim . Not Guilty after all!! You're a better source on policy than me. That stuff always makes my head hurt. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 22:36, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Also, you can revert several consecutive edits in one go. You probably know how to get the diff for consecutive edits. It has an undo link. The only think that is missing in this case is the proposed automatic edit summary. Hans Adler 22:41, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

A move toward agreement (???), redux

Well. we're making good progress towards attracting new editors to help improve the article, aren't we?


I don't quite know what to do to get this back on track. I started drafting a RfC, to reboot the lede to the last consensus version (as proposed a couple of times above). But it's disheartening to see almost nothing but old names, refighting old battles, while the article stays a muddled, biased, almost unreadable mess. Like so many others in the CC area. Sigh, Pete Tillman (talk) 22:31, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm in the process of collecting sources and I've provided many above. Arthur Rubin and yourself are welcome to read them at any time. Every objection to the lead is based on "I don't like it" and "me too" which won't work here. The article needs to be completely rewritten to reflect the new mainstream consensus on this subject, which is that the serious/major allegations/accusations by climate sceptics have been rejected by five/six/? investigations. Most importantly, "at the conclusion of the inquiries, the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity was reaffirmed by renewed confidence in the CRU dataset." This is an undisputed fact supported by the sources.
  • The Russell report "finds, as have past reports, that others have independently arrived at results echoing the CRU research. The Russell report went so far as to reproduce the CRU results with publicly available data. In March, the U.S. National Research Council released three congressionally requested reports reconfirming that average global surface temperatures rose 1.4 degrees over the past century, with a likely rise between 2 degrees and 11.5 degrees by 2100, largely depending on greenhouse gas emissions. ("Probe clears scientists in 'Climategate'." USA Today 8 July 2010)
  • "There have since been several reports upholding the U.N.'s basic findings, including a major assessment in May from the National Academy of Sciences. This assessment not only confirmed the relationship between climate change and human activities but warned of growing risks -- sea level rise, drought, disease -- that must swiftly be addressed by firm action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Given the trajectory the scientists say we are on, one must hope that the academy's report, and Wednesday's debunking of Climategate, will receive as much circulation as the original, diversionary controversies." (Gillis, Justin. "Panel, in Report, Clears Scientists of Rigging Climate Change Data." New York Times 8 July 2010: A9)
  • Oxburgh panel said: "We are satisfied that the CRU tree-ring work has been carried out with integrity, and that allegations of deliberate misrepresentation and unjustified selection of data are not valid...Although we deplore the tone of much of the criticism, we believe that this questioning of the methods and data used in dendrochronological records will ultimately have a beneficial effect and improve working practices." (Skeptical Inquirer 2010)
  • "AP distributed the results of their "exhaustive" investigation last December 12. They found pettiness, especially in the climate scientists' disdainful attitudes toward critics, but no fraud. "The messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked," the AP reported. "The exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions." (Skeptical Inquirer 2010)
Again, Arthur Rubin removed the statement.[29] Why? Viriditas (talk) 22:35, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
This article is supposed to be about Climategate, not the scientific consensus on global warming. It is enough to have already told the reader -- as you have -- that the scientists were cleared of fraud. That the scientists were cleared of fraud already implies that nothing was found to undermine the consensus on global warming. If you must then keep repeating this message in different ways -- even if you can reliably source each repetition of the message -- then you are introducing a bias. Alex Harvey (talk) 07:46, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec) You have it entirely backwards, Alex. The bias is introduced in the omission, not its inclusion. The "climategate conspiracy theory" is solely based on discrediting the scientific consensus for AGW. The conspiracy theory promoted by climate sceptics had, at its core, the serious and unproven allegations that climate scientists had manipulated and distorted climate data to advance their theory of AGW. Therefore, the statement Arthur Rubin removed, was not just the primary, conclusive finding of the investigation, it represents the touchstone of this entire topic, namely, that "at the conclusion of the inquiries, the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity was reaffirmed by renewed confidence in the CRU dataset." This is an established fact and not only belongs in the lead, but is required in the lead section as it represents the conclusive finding of the now closed investigations. To remind you Alex, the "overwhelming scientific view" that "human activity is contributing to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions", is not in dispute. Furthermore, "based on extensive observational evidence, the National Academy of Sciences, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the American Meteorology Society, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and virtually every U.S. university with an environmental science program have all independently come to the same general conclusion as the IPCC report that human activity is the most likely cause of climatic changes." (Titley, Dave. "Anthropogenic warming." Naval War College Review Wntr 2011: 162) This statement by Rear Admiral Titley, USN, Oceanographer of the Navy, Director, Task Force Climate Change, is also reflected in the results of the climategate investigations and in the secondary sources on the subject. It is not just relevant to this topic, it is the key finding that CRU data is consistent with the scientific consensus. Viriditas (talk) 08:17, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the statement "At the conclusion of the inquiries, the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity was reaffirmed by renewed confidence in the CRU dataset." is false and unsupported. A correct statement would be more like, "in spite of probable errors in the CRU dataset and analysis, the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity is intact." But I'm sure we could find a reasonable neutral expression of what was actually in the reliable sources, if we could find agreement that it should be there.
In detail, there was no fraud, no intentional misstatements, and that the unintentional misstatements probably do not effect the scientific consensus. (In further detail, the misstatements in the "Hockey Stick" plot do not effect the consensus, and the statistical methods not accepted by actual statisticians probably do not effect the results.)
I'm not sure I agree with Alex, that a correct statement on the consequences of climategate on the scientific consensus should not appear. But your statement was incorrect. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:09, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, the statement "At the conclusion of the inquiries, the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity was reaffirmed by renewed confidence in the CRU dataset" is true and completely supported by the preponderance of the sources, some of which I provided for you above. If you are having trouble understanding these facts, feel free to ask questions, but please do not use Wikipedia to promote your personal pet theories and original research. Viriditas (talk) 08:17, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, i'm confused..... Please state your sources for the "false and unsupported" claim, since i believe this is sourced. Additionally i'd like you to reference your "in spite of probable errors...". Further, what "misstatements" are you talking about. And finally i'd like you to describe why you think that the "hockey-stick" is relevant here? Since it wasn't a part of CRU's work - nor part of the investigations. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 08:31, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I guess it wasn't the "hockey-stick". Quoting our article at present, the Muir Russel Commission found "found that a graph produced in 1999 was 'misleading,' but not deliberately so."
In the "Science Assessment Panel" section, we wrote:
  • The panel commented that it was "very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians." It found that although the CRU had not made inappropriate use of statistical methods, some of the methods used may not have been the best for the purpose, though it said that "it is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results."
Doesn't look as if that shows confidence. Perhaps other sources are more confident. IIRC, the minority report said that the statistical methods were inappropriate. If I mis-recall that, I apologize, but even that statement as presently in the article opposes the statement V wants to include here. There are some other findings in the various reports which do not indicate "confidence" in the accuracy of CRU reports, only in the integrity of CRU scientists. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 09:29, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Which current reliable secondary source casts doubt on both the CRU dataset and its correspondence with the consensus on climate change? Let me help you out: none. We don't edit Wikipedia based on your own personal recollections nor your own reading of Wikipedia articles. We write articles based on the best secondary sources, all of which say that the CRU dataset is intact, reproducible, and in parity with the scientific consensus. End of story, Arthur. Viriditas (talk) 09:37, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, I have some problems with this.
First: it seems that you suddenly have realized that the hockey-stick wasn't a part of this - yet you make authoritative claims and assertions about this in your first posting. Not good.
Second: "it is not clear...." doesn't equate the "probable error" claim you just proposed. Uncertainty doesn't translate into certainty about errors. And it doesn't "oppose(s) the statement V wants to include here".
Thirdly: Please do not "recall" - but rely on reliable sources immediately. Your recall has not been good so far.
Fourthly: What "minority report" are you talking about? I've read the reports and i certainly haven't seen this, in fact the SAP states otherwise. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 10:09, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
To V: I don't need a reliable secondary source which casts doubt on the CRU reports (dataset? What dataset?), the consensus on climate change, or the connection between the two. You need to include reliable secondary sources which report that the CRU reports are substantially accurate, and that therefore the scientific consensus is intact. I quite agree that, that the vast majority of secondary sources report that that the CRU reports are substantially correct, and that the scientific consensus is intact. In fact, the Skeptical Inquirer / AP quote above says "don't undercut" rather than "support". What can be said, is that the CRU reports are substantially intact[note 1], and the the scientific consensus is intact.
Granting that the expression should be in the article, it should be written not as:
  • At the conclusion of the inquiries, the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity was reaffirmed by renewed confidence in the CRU dataset.
but as
  • The inquiries found no reason to doubt the accuracy[note 1] of the dataset or the scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity.
To KDP: I'll try to be more careful, but the WP:BURDEN is on the editor adding text to the article, and the secondary sources so far provided, and the text in the body of the article, do not support the first statement. "Renewed confidence", indeed.... As far as I know, no one is more confident than before Climategate. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:44, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, we are dealing with uncontroversial facts supported by the preponderance of reliable secondary sources. The burden has been met again and again on this talk page, and you've ignored all the sources while favoring and promoting your own personal "recollections" and pet theories that are odds with the mainstream sources. This needs to stop now. The next time you change or modify this article, you must have a reliable source to support your change. You've been told this many times now. If it happens again, just one more time I'm going to ask for and request arbitration enforcement, and I'm going to provide diff after diff showing you've been warned, and that you refused to use sources for your edits.[note 2] Viriditas (talk) 22:39, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Ok, Arthur. But you fail to realize that Viriditas has lifted the WP:BURDEN again and again and again. Secondly: "renewed confidence" does not translate into "more confident" - it could [stretched] be translated into "as confident as before". But normally you use reaffirm and renewed where this sequence takes place: 1) You had some confidence 2) Something happened to shake your confidence 3) Your confidence is restored (renewed/reaffirmed). And that certainly is the case here. The focus on "substantially" indicates that doubts exist - and that has to be substantiated by you... not V. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:54, 2 May 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Although none of the investigations actually say anything about the accuracy of the dataset. They, uniformly, say something resembling "no evidence of intentional errors or bias in the generation of the reports/dataset", making no comment on the scientific accuracy.
  2. ^ The investigations rejected the serious allegations by climate sceptics which alleged that the CRU dataset had been manipulated. The investigations also concluded that the scientific consensus that global warming was occurring as a result of human activity was reaffirmed by renewed confidence in the CRU dataset. For example, the Russell report "finds, as have past reports, that others have independently arrived at results echoing the CRU research. (USA Today)" The Associated Press ran their own investigation and found that CRU e-mails "don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions." (Skeptical Inquirer).

Sentence removed

I just removed the following, as the cited ref to a Google-cached version of a regional or local newspaper interview no longer works.

Jones later said that the police told him these "didn’t fulfil the criteria for death threats."[1]

If this refers to a recorded fact, it should be easy enough to find other sources. As it stands, it is a strong, legally significant statement, attributed to a living person, that is not verifiable. WP:BLP etc. --Nigelj (talk) 22:41, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ "I passed [the threats] on to Norfolk police who said they didn’t fulfil the criteria for death threats." Interview published at Spalding Guardian, "Top climate professor in Spalding for talk", Thursday 3 February 2011: [1], accessed 2/14/11.

(edit conflict)Can someone with access verify the information - i belive it is this article. We don't need a link to an online article - so verification should be enough, followed by the publication information. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:00, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's the article -- thanks, Kim. I have a local copy, which I can email to anyone interested who will provide an address: pdtillman(at)gmail(dot)com
I tried to archive the article at the time, but for some reason it wouldn't "take". At any rate, I can confirm that this is the quote as it appeared in the original. It's in an interview by that local newspaper, and so may not be available elsewhere. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 17:20, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I propose to restore the quote, cited to the newspaper, but with the "Highbeam" link substituted for the expired link. I signed up for a free trial pass to verify that the quote is available at that URL. Not ideal, but as Kim has noted, we don't need an online link, and this would allow 3rd party verification for the modest hassle of registering at Highbeam. Comments? Thanks, Pete Tillman (talk) 05:53, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

not all allegations were made by skeptics + sources

I have been digging out the sources from some non-skeptics who made various allegations against CRU scientists in the hope we can put to bed this version of history that all 'allegations' were made by 'climate skeptics'.

  • George Monbiot, 25th Nov 09, Pretending the climate email leak isn't a crisis won't make it go away: Pretending that this isn't a real crisis isn't going to make it go away. Nor is an attempt to justify the emails with technicalities. We'll be able to get past this only by grasping reality, apologising where appropriate and demonstrating that it cannot happen again.
  • Eduardo Zorita, IPCC scientist, 28th Nov 09, Why I think that Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process: I may confirm what has been written in other places: research in some areas of climate science has been and is full of machination, conspiracies, and collusion, as any reader can interpret from the CRU-files. They depict a realistic, I would say even harmless, picture of what the real research in the area of the climate of the past millennium has been in the last years. The scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas.
  • Hans von Storch, IPCC scientist, 22nd Dec 09, Good Science, Bad Politics: What we can now see is a concerted effort to emphasize scientific results that are useful to a political agenda by blocking papers in the purportedly independent review process and skewing the assessments of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The effort has not been so successful, but trying was bad enough.

I know there were plenty of others. I know Judith Curry has made similar accusations after Climategate but I can't find them easily. I'm also pretty sure the other bloggers at Die Klimazwiebel made similar accusations as Zorita and von Storch but I can't find them. And as Arthur has pointed out above, accusations of failing to obey FOI law were made by the information commissioner.

Once again, the point is very simple: if we have sources implying that 'allegations' (whatever that means) were exclusively made by 'climate change skeptics' (and whatever that means), it is shown to be untrue by these three examples. We don't need any more example to show that the statement is untrue. Just as 'all swans are white' is refuted by discovery of a single black swan.

Finally, could I request that we try to resolve one issue at a time? The talk page above is completely impossible to due to new issues being brought up in the middle of conversations about other issues that also aren't resolved. Alex Harvey (talk) 10:44, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Alex, do you understand what we mean when we say we write Wikipedia articles based primarily on secondary sources? And also, do you understand that when we refer to the major/serious allegations, we are directly referring to the claims by climate skeptics? Now, if you can find secondary sources that report on the claims by George Monbiot, Eduardo Zorita, and Hans von Storch, you will have the beginning of an argument. I predict that if you do find these secondary sources, they will not contain the major or serious allegations. Further, the terms "major" or "serious" need to be added back in, because that is precisely what the reliable sources were referring to when they discuss allegations by climate skeptics. I don't think we are all on the same page when we are talking about the major/serious allegations, and this might explain the lack of communication. The reliable sources, however, are clear on this point. Viriditas (talk) 11:06, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
V, I don't want to include these sources in the article. I simply want you to stop writing falsehoods in the article. The policies about original research and 'truth' are not meant to be taken to an extreme, as you and others seem to want, that would allow us to justify the dissemination of disinformation on the basis that '*shrug* it's what the reliable sources say'. No, we are not striving for 'truth' but that doesn't mean we are allowed to say things that we all know are not true. Alex Harvey (talk) 11:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, three opinion pieces by Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, and George Monbiot are not what we consider dispassionate secondary sources nor are they truly representative of the most serious/major allegations made by climate skeptics. Writing "six separate inquiries looked into the allegations made by climate sceptics" is not false. It is precisely what the majority of secondary sources report. Please find a secondary source that disagrees with this statement. I'm starting to see a pattern here. Neither Alex nor Arthur seem familiar with the concept of secondary sources. Viriditas (talk) 11:16, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Alex, in your reading of HvS - did you fail to notice his text about what sceptics have claimed the emails to show: "They say these words show that everything was a hoax—not just the historical temperature results in question, but also the warming documented by different groups using thermometer data. They conclude I must have been forced out of my position as chief editor of the journal Climate Research back in 2003 for my allegiance ...."
The Hoax claim is the serious one - and one of the "allegations" that you state as being ignorant of ("whatever that means") - the collusion one is debunked even in the emails (according to HvS). Selective reading is not useful. Monbiot makes the same point btw. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 11:11, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I think someone said above then that we need reliable sources for what constitutes a 'serious' allegation. Given that not even Anthony Watts has made the claim that Climategate showed the whole thing was a 'Hoax' I see elevating the 'Hoax' claim as simply a straw man argument. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Considering the claims investigated in the reports - the hoax claim is certainly not a strawman. But i'm a bit curious here... HvS is apparently (according to you) raising a strawman when he refers to "hoax" - but his other statements are acceptable to you? How do you differentiate between what is correct/acceptable in his statements vs. what you believe is strawmen and wrong information. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 14:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Kim, with respect, I just reread HvS's op-ed, and feel the "hoax" business was a just a bit of rhetoric. It's a good, strong piece, btw, impeccably sourced, and of itself falsifies the claim that all criticism came from skeptic blogs. So I hope we can lay that one to rest. Thanks for the research, Alex. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 17:40, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
It is not laid to rest at all. The majority of secondary sources support it, and that's what we rely on to write articles. It isn't even in question. The main/serious allegations by climate sceptics have been rejected by multiple investigations. The most serious claims by climate sceptics were found to be baseless. The climategate conspiracy was shown to be a manufactured controversy, invented in an attempt to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change. These are facts, Pete. Supported by the secondary sources. Viriditas (talk) 22:34, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Pete, we can't use your "feel" for anything. There is no indications that this was rhetoric - in fact its documentable (see for instance: Soon and Baliunas controversy#Email controversy). Do please define exactly how we differentiate between "rhetoric" and other statements in an objective way - otherwise your point is rather moot. As for HvS's Op-Ed being impeccably sourced... i can't determine any sources in that editorial - its purely HvS's opinion - and opinions are a dime a dozen in this particular controversy. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:00, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
V, you've got a claim in the article that says 'all' but here in the talk page you admit 'most'. At the very least, you need to change the wording to be consistent with 'most' or (your words) 'the majority'. Alex Harvey (talk) 23:35, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
No, Alex. V is actually correct. Secondary reliable sources are the bread and butter here - You can if you look long enough find someone who will state almost everything, and even get convinced that it is so - that doesn't mean that we should change a general gist/majority viewpoint into a weakened statement. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
If you claim that 'all' 'allegations' were made by 'climate skeptics' and the truth of the matter is that a number of allegations were being made by non climate skeptics, your claim is not true. Let us not argue that black is white. Alex Harvey (talk) 00:42, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but you've mangled it. If you want to go into "pettitesse"-land then what you need to find for the statement to be falsified is: An allegation that was not made by sceptics, but only by non-sceptics. "allegations made by sceptics" does not translate into "allegations purely made by sceptics and no one else". --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 05:46, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. The present wording suggests to the reader that only skeptics made allegations. The wording is, therefore, misleading. Alex Harvey (talk) 06:13, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Only climate sceptics have made serious/major allegations against climate scientists. The wording is reflected by the majority (if not all) of current mainstream secondary sources. Please find a current reliable secondary source that casts doubt on this state of affairs, otherwise you must drop the stick and move away from the horse carcass. Viriditas (talk) 07:25, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
So to clarify, you consider the allegations made above not to be serious? Alex Harvey (talk) 10:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The secondary sources have reported extensively on the serious allegations made by climate sceptics. What do they say, Alex? In other words, do they match up here? BTW, the strategy of injecting uncertainty and doubt into every thread is wearing thin. Viriditas (talk) 10:34, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Please answer the question. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:20, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I have answered the question. We write articles based on sources. What do the sources say? Please do the research. Viriditas (talk) 12:23, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
No, you haven't answered the question. You've answered a question that I didn't ask. Please answer the question that I did ask. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:37, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I have answered the question, and I've pointed you in the direction of the answer you seek. You need to do the research and look at the sources. What do they say? We don't go on what editors personally think, only what the sources say. Viriditas (talk) 12:46, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Are you saying that the allegations made above are not serious? That is the question, and you haven't answered it. Meanwhile, I am presently collecting a lot of evidence from reliable secondary sources. Alex Harvey (talk) 12:58, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
What I am saying is that the serious/major allegations by climate sceptics are covered by the RS. We don't interpret opinions. We judge the notability of the opinions by what the SS say about them. Viriditas (talk) 13:13, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The statement "Only climate sceptics have made serious/major allegations against climate scientists. " is false, and we can prove it by a single secondary source who quotes Monbiot. It's probably correct that "All serious/major allegations originated with sceptics", but we would need a specific reliable source for that, specifically including "all" and "serious" or "major". Otherwise, we're interpreting the sources. (I should add that, although The Skeptical Inquirer is generally a reliable source, it would not be reliable for this statement, as they admit to an editorial bias against climate sceptics, and in favor of the scientific consensus.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:12, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

No, that is not true. We are not required to address your straw man argument. From the very first media story, the sources have attributed the major allegations to climate sceptics. This is not in question or in doubt as you pretend it is. Sources have already been offered, many times now, demonstrating that the allegations of climate conspiracy are solely attributed to skeptics. This is not in doubt at all and is a matter of historical record. No amount of manufactured doubt will change it. Even the climate skeptics themselves take credit for the allegations. Lastly, there is nothing wrong or subjective with SI or any other souce addressing the scientific consensus as a historical fact. There is no doubt and debate ended in the 1990s on this subject. There isn't two sides on the science as you falsely claim, and the media has been taken to task for given fringe theories equal time and validity, when the science is decided. We don't give equal time to fringe theories on Wikipedia. There is no doubt here, and your continued attempt to claim uncertainty is demonstrative of POV pushing and obstructionism. The sources are clear and the science is not in question. We have discussed this enough. Please do not continue to tendentiously push your fringe views here. Viriditas (talk) 21:42, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

"CRU dataset"

What, specifically, is the "CRU dataset" that is continually mentioned here? The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 13:12, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

According to the journal Nature, it refers to HadCRUT.[30] Viriditas (talk) 13:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Very good. We need to make that clear. Otherwise people may interpret it to mean the raw data, as they have elsewhere. The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 16:38, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I'm confused, but hasn't the HadCRUT data been available all the time? Isn't that what the CRU produces and publishes? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:41, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Correct. My understanding is that CRU was criticized for not distributing raw data they had obtained from third parties. The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 17:54, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Not exactly. My recollection is, they lost the history of what they'd done to "correct" the data, so there's no easy way to independently confirm what they did. And what sort of scientist tosses the raw data that was the starting point for his calculations? A remarkable spectacle. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 18:02, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you have any sources for this? Your "recollections" and your personal opinions of the scientists involved aren't usable in the article. The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 18:13, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Pete/Boris, while the raw station data was available, the station identifiers were not.

18. On the allegation of withholding station identifiers we find that CRU should have made available an unambiguous list of the stations used in each of the versions of the Climatic Research Unit Land Temperature Record (CRUTEM) at the time of publication. We find that CRU's responses to reasonable requests for information were unhelpful and defensive.

(Independent Climate Change Emails Review.) Alex Harvey (talk) 01:24, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'll look, as time permits. Don't recall if it's a RS, but Dr Phil is self-admittedly disorganized [31], and (checks) "Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers. " [32]. Now, that probably should be in the FOIA section, I think. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 19:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Found it, at Der Spiegel:
Under the pressure of [Steve] McIntyre's attacks, Jones had to admit something incredible: He had deleted his notes on how he performed the homogenization. This means that it is not possible to reconstruct how the raw data turned into his temperature curve.
For Peter Webster, a meteorologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, this course of events is "one of the biggest sins" a scientist can commit. "It's as if a chef was no longer able to cook his dishes because he lost the recipes."
While amateur climatologist McIntyre spent years begging in vain for the raw data, Webster eventually managed to convince Jones to send them to him. He is the only scientist to date who has been given access to the data. "To be honest, I'm shocked by the sloppy documentation," Webster told SPIEGEL...
I seem to remember some criticism of this article during the Climate Wars -- whether it was more than I Don't Like It, I don't recall. Seems like a good secondary RS. It does seem remarkable that Jones kept his job? Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 21:45, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
"A good secondary RS" for what? That a meteorologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology also made an accusation. Then there were six enquiries that looked into all the accusations, and cleared Prof Jones and the team of any misconduct. That's what the article already says. We don't need to harp on about every individual accusation that he was cleared of, exclaiming, "It does seem remarkable that Jones kept his job" about everything he was cleared of (not) doing, surely. --Nigelj (talk) 22:01, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
As you may recall, Viriditas keeps maintaining that all the criticisms of CRU came from the blogs, and that CRU was "fully exonerated". Alex, Arthur & I are attempting to show, via RS cites, that it ain't so. I think we have. Do you agree?
As for Prof. Jones, he seems barely competent to me; hence my snippy comment. But I'm not writing his BLP, nor intending my private opinions for publication here. We do allow a bit of freedom on the talk pages for such things, I think. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 22:15, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Single page version found here Looks like an old article, Pete, filled with sensational emotive comments. I appreciate you looking for sources, but we want them to be current. As for exnoeration, the main/serious allegations by climate sceptics have been rejected by multiple investigations. I fail to see how an old article in Der Spiegel shows otherwise. Viriditas (talk) 22:30, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Der Spiegel's article is dated 04/01/2010 (heh), or just a bit over a year old. --Pete Tillman (talk) 01:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
<ec> Pete, we're not interested in your views on the competence of scientists, as far as Wikipedia is concerned you don't have the competence to judge science or scientists. The sources you cite are the Daily Mail and The Mirror, both of which are better known for their political views than for their science reporting. The Hefferman article I noted earlier (Heffernan, O. (2009). "Climate data spat intensifies". Nature. 460 (7257): 787–787. doi:10.1038/460787a. ) quotes Webster about the sharing of raw data:
Webster says his team was given the station data for a very specific request that will result in a joint publication with Jones. "Reasonable requests should be fulfilled because making data available advances science," says Webster, "but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you'd be swamped."
While better notes might have made it easier to have followed every step made by Jones, back when he was examining the (mostly paper) temperature records, storage of computer info was so expensive that tapes were wiped and re-used. Unfortunate they didn't have a better budget then, but the temperature records can still be obtained from the met offices concerned and the work re-done as a useful check. Of course, the alternative public record datasets based in the U.S. don't have restrictions on access, and give the same overall result. . . dave souza, talk 22:41, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Also, Pete, you claim above that "Dr Phil is self-admittedly disorganized [33]" but I've read the cited interview a couple of times and can't find him making that admission. Could you please quote the words that give you that impression? . . dave souza, talk 22:55, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Dave: I think I lost track -- I was confused by the Daily Mail quoting the BBC's Harrabin, who asked Jones about this issue. "Professor Jones admitted the lack of organisation in the system had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted." [34]. Sorry, my bad, but still well-sourced. -- Pete Tillman (talk) 00:59, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

I've struck my snide remarks re Phil Jones as a needless distraction. Apologies, Pete Tillman (talk) 01:10, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Reply to Dave Souza re excuses for Jones losing data: Dave, I've heard these excuses before, and they don't wash with me. Lots of other working scientists from that era (like me) kept source data and essential calcs indefinitely, on paper, punch cards, or tapes. We have RS's commenting on Jones' disorganization, and embarrassment at losing files. Here again is Der Spiegel's judgment:
Did Jones proceed correctly while homogenizing the data? Most climatologists still believe Jones' contention that he did not intentionally manipulate the data. However, that belief will have to remain rooted in good faith. Under the pressure of McIntyre's attacks, Jones had to admit something incredible: He had deleted his notes on how he performed the homogenization. This means that it is not possible to reconstruct how the raw data turned into his temperature curve. [35]
Readers can draw their own conclusions as to whether Jones was the right man to have custody of the world's surface-temp records.--Pete Tillman (talk) 01:23, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Since Jones does not "have custody of the world's surface-temp records" and never has, what would be the point of such musings? The Spirit of Neutrality and Truth (talk) 01:41, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

wording that secondary sources prefer on attributing 'allegations'

This follows from above, with Viriditas arguing that we must attribute the 'allegations' generally to 'climate skeptics' generally. I have criticised this as both not NPOV and bad style. However, V insists we must do this because he says it is what the secondary sources do. I have spent a lot of time this evening establishing that V's claim is not correct.

I have reviewed the first 20 Guardian articles using keywords 'climategate allegations', then I repeated for first 5 Telegraph articles, and then the first 5 New York Times articles. I found that the Guardian and Telegraph both tended not to attribute allegations generally at all, whereas the NY Times attributes them generally to 'critics'. It is no surprise to find these publications using a neutral wording.

  • articles that refer to allegations generally and attribute them to "critics" generally: (NYTimes) [54], [55], [56], [57].
  • attributes a single allegation to skeptics generally but otherwise does not attribute allegations generally: [58].
  • attributes one allegation to "Sarah Palin and other skeptics" but otherwise does not attribute allegations generally: [59].
  • actually supports the wording used by Viriditas et al.: [60].

Alex Harvey (talk) 13:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Alex, your sampling method leaves a lot to be desired. I have no idea why you would search "climategate allegations" when we are looking for the term "climate sceptics", "climate skeptics", or "climate contrarians". Perhaps if you were actually searching for the subject under discussion, you would find sources such as [61], [62], [63], [64], [65], [66], [67], [68], [69],[70]. There's a lot more where that came from, Alex. Attempting to question my wording by refusing to search for it is the height of absurdity. The Marshall Institute themselves could not come up with a better search criteria. Viriditas (talk) 13:37, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Uh.... So you are basically admitting that you have been using google to mine for articles that support your wording? And your criticism of my method is that I didn't do this too? I've shown if you don't mine for a preferred wording, you find that sources don't tend to use that preferred wording. Let's stop for a little while and think about this. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:41, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, you're the one who needs to stop for a while and think about this. I've read almost every source on this subject and many of the sources I have given you are already in our article. You may want to get around to reading it one of these days instead of using the talk page as a forum for your fringe theories. Care to find me the Skeptical Inquirer article(s) in Google by search term? I don't think you are taking this subject seriously at all, and at this point, you are abusing the discussion and article improvement process. Is there a single current reliable source that has been published in the post-investigative era that does not use this wording in some form or another? Are you seriously trying to argue, Alex, that investigation after investigation did not look into the serious claims made by climate sceptics? Because if you are, you are promoting a fringe opinion that is not supported by the mainstream sources. It is not in dispute that the climate sceptics were behind the propagation of this manufactured controversy in the blogosphere nor in the mainstream media (when they appeared on television and radio 24/7 for weeks on end) It is not in dispute that the allegations were constantly and consistently attributed to climate sceptics/skeptics/contrarians for a year, and continue to be attributed to them. Your personal theory that climate sceptics were not behind the allegations is not supported by the sources. Responding to your failure to recognize what the mainstream sources say about this subject by making ridiculous accusations and continued red herrings to draw attention away from your cherry picking of sources by accusing me of cherry picking sources is even more ridiculous. We can go over this source by source working backwards from today and we will find that the majority of sources say that the investigations rejected serious claims against climate scientists made by climate sceptics/skeptics/contrarians. This is not in dispute by anyone. That you are trying to waste the time of multiple editors by making it a dispute tells me you are attempting to prevent progress on this article by bogging us down in nonsense. Show me a single source that disputes that climate sceptics/skeptics/contrarians were not behind the allegations. I don't want to see another one of your interpretations of primary sources. I want to see a source that says explicitly climate sceptics were not behind the allegations. Can you find one? No, you cannot. What more is there to discuss here, Alex? Your one and only strategy on this talk page is manufactured uncertainty, and we all know where that got the climate skeptics and their allegations. Rejected. Viriditas (talk) 13:57, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Aside from your usual personal attacks and misrepresentations of my position, I need to point out that the wording in dispute has been questioned in good faith by myself, Pete Tillman, Arthur Rubin, and Thepm. So you can't claim that it is not in dispute by anyone. I am meanwhile astonished that you describe my method, which selects wordings randomly providing they are on the subject of 'climategate' and contain the keyword 'allegations', as cherry picking. Alex Harvey (talk) 14:18, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The wording is sound, supported by the best sources on the subject, and is not in dispute by any mainstream source. You're the one searching for keywords, not me. Please remember that. The tu quoque appeals are just downright sad. Show me a secondary source that covers this subject in depth that does not attribute the serious claims against climate scientists to climate sceptics. It does not exist. I think it is time for you stop distracting us from improving this article. The knowledge and evidence are not in doubt, no matter how much uncertainty you try to create. That is not a personal attack. That is exactly what is happening here. Viriditas (talk) 14:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Nonsense, V. You really are using Google to support your POV. You don't detect to whom the majority of sources attribute the allegations; even if you systematically used the first n pages that met your criteria; at best, only that the majority of the sources which use the term "sceptic" or "skeptic" and attribute the allegations, attribute the allegations to them. Alex isn't quite correct, here, as sources that do not make the attribution probably shouldn't be counted, but his top 20 has three "critics" (New York Times), one "sceptics", and two which attribute one allegation to "skeptics". The Guardian article which says McIntyre is "Hardly a classic skeptic" might be considered a strong negative for your POV. Possibly "climategate+allegations" might have a different bias than "climate+allegations" (and only considering those which are talking about climategate, whether or not they use the term.) or "CRU+allegations".
For this one, I now believe that V's wording is generally correct, (almost all of the allegations originated with sceptics) but not sourced. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:59, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, I have not used Google at all, nor have I claimed to use Google. The only mention of Google on this page that I am aware of, Arthur, is Alex's misleading accusation above at 13:41, 3 May 2011 where he fallaciously blurts out, "you are basically admitting that you have been using google to mine for articles that support your wording?" How strange and bizarre, since I have not said a word about Google here or anywhere else. In fact, my original evidence, which was posted in the thread, "Allegations made by climate skeptics" does not show the use of any search index in particular nor was one used to collate the data. In point of fact, my search started and began with the sources in this article, originating with the House report, which on page 6 notes that one of the first stories in the media to cover "Climategate" appeared in The Guardian on November 20, 2009, with the headline, "Climate sceptics claim leaked e-mails are evidence of collusion among scientists".[71] These ridiculous claims about Google are yet another red herring with the sole intent of introducing doubt and uncertainty. It is a historical fact that the news sources from day one have attributed the allegations to climate sceptics, and these sources appear in our current article on the subject. Alex and Arthur are free to keep trying to change the subject, but the facts are in the historical record: Climate sceptics claim leaked e-mails are evidence of collusion among scientists. Viriditas (talk) 15:17, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
So you admit to only looking at sources which support your thesis, not even doing a biased google search. I rest my case.
Not quite fair, but the NYT articles referring to the allegations by "critics" must be considered a reliable source. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:18, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Can you please quote exactly where V is "admit to only looking at sources which support your thesis" - not using Google is not the same as not looking at sources. Using Google in the way Alex did, has a very large chance of giving confirmation bias - and probably did. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:29, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Confirmation bias is possible, for any of us. I don't see why V would be different than Alex in that respect. I was going to say that Alex's search has much less selection bias than any of the ones V proposed.
If V refers to "contrarians" as "sceptics/skeptics", that would be another point against his thesis.
However, I do apologize for misinterpreting V's remarks as stating that he used a biased search. I don't see that V admits doing a search, only to selecting the references in the article after he edited it. To be fair, he should look at the references Alex and Peter added, as well, even if they are not presently in the article. -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arthur Rubin (talkcontribs)
I'm assuming this is written by Arthur... Well first of all reading sources as they surface is less prone to give you confirmation bias, than a specific google search. V's proposed google search is not his methodology - so your comparison is moot.
Second, when we look at Alex's search, it certainly doesn't come to the conclusion that Alex' wants us to reach....
  • First: Many (most?) of his references do not even address the question that he attempts to ask (q: are the originators of the allegations sceptics?) ,
  • Second, Alex' search and choice doesn't contain a random element (thus making selection bias active)
  • Third: At least one of Alex' references is misplaced (#3 in the Guardian search), since it deals entirely with claims by sceptics. Another (#2) is a blog posting.
  • Fourth: Apparently Alex' didn't consider the time of publication a factor - which is a large problem, since we have at least some sources that state that media jumped on the "bandwagon" early in the case, and then retracted when the reports came out.
So frankly i don't give this particular search much credence. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:37, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Can I make it clear that the fact that many or even most of the allegations have been made by climate skeptics has never been what this dispute is about. But it is not true that only climate skeptics have made the allegations, as is most obviously seen in the case of George Monbiot and others. When I have time I will repeat my experiment of last night taking into consideration some of the criticisms Kim and others have made. I have every expectation that I'll get the same result. Alex Harvey (talk) 00:45, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
You have no "result". Anyone can access an article abstract database of indexed articles beginning in Nov. 2009 and work their way to the present. All of the serious allegations are attributed to climate skeptics. This is not in dispute. Most importantly of all, climate skeptics themselves have published these allegations and have taken credit for making them. Your entire argument appears to be a gross distraction from the facts. I refer you to an article published by the Institute of Public Affairs in December 2009 by research fellows Berg and Davidson.[72]. This is a fantastic summary of the primary allegations made by climate skeptics, and it is a matter of record that the IPA promotes climate skepticism. That their climate skeptic research fellows also work as journalists and are featured prominently in the major media is another topic altogether. In any case, we can see from this example that the allegations belong to climate skeptics, are promoted by climate skeptics, and are linked to major media articles and opinion pieces written by climate skeptics. We can also review the use of the terms "critics" and "contrarians" and we can see that in every case that so-called critics or contrarians are highlighted, they are in fact climate skeptics. In conclusion, there is no doubt, no uncertainty that the allegations made by climate skeptics were rejected by six investigations. This is a historical fact supported by not just the mainstream secondary sources, but by the climate skeptics themselves, who have published and publicized the allegations in the first place. There is nothing more to discuss. Viriditas (talk) 01:41, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────What's the difference between "access an article abstract database" and using Google, other than Google makes fewer errors in referencing keywords? And, even though both V's analysis and this border on WP:SYNTH, one can easily see that the NYT does not use "critics" to indicate "climate skeptics" (American spelling), but only to indicate critics of the CRU. And we (Wikipedia) cannot say "all" allegations were made by climate skeptics, or all allegations made by climate skeptics were investigated, without a source saying just that. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:02, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

As you have been repeatedly informed, Arthur, I have not used Google nor have I raised the subject. I have relied primarily on sources in our current article and database indexes which provide a listing of articles by date and subject. I have never advocated a keyword search at anytime, except to criticize Alex's defense of it. Your repeated assertions that I have make it clear you are not capable of following basic talk page guidelines and etiquette. Additionally, your repeated assertion that the NYT does not use critics to indicate climate skeptics is false. The NYT refers to climate skeptics and their allegations all over the place, and you were previously provided with two examples linked above, namely:
  • "At issue are thousands of e-mails hacked from computers at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia...Climate skeptics argue that those e-mails demonstrate ethical lapses on the part of prominent climate scientists and demonstrate that they manipulated data to substantiate their claims on climate change." (The New York Times 2009)
  • "All five investigations have come down largely on the side of the climate researchers, rejecting a number of criticisms raised by global-warming skeptics."(The New York Times 2010)
It is obvious that neither Alex nor Arthur can find or provide a single RS that casts doubt or uncertainty on the historical record which indicates that climate skeptics authored, published, and publicized the allegations against climate scientists, allegations which have now been thoroughly discredited. Viriditas (talk) 02:21, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Addendum: In attempting to trace the roots of this manufactured controversy, I keep running into connection after connection between think tanks, politicians, and journalists. In the above, I showed an example of members of the mainstream media working closely with the Institute of Public Affairs to promote the climategate conspiracy theory.[73] According to the BBC, on November 24, 2009, British Conservative Party politician Peter Lilley challenged then-Labour Party politician and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband with the claim that "scientists manipulated data to strengthen the case for man-made global warming".[74] Mr. Lilley even went on RT News to promote the climategate conspiracy theory, in a wonderfully written script touching on all the talking points (interesting coincidence how all the climate skeptics use the same script, isn't it?). Notice how Lilley reverses the actual state of affairs: the certainty of the scientific consensus becomes uncertain and the uncertainty of what CRU emails entails (this is 2009 prior to any investigation) becomes a certain conspiracy and manipulation of data. This is a great example of the manufacturing uncertainty strategy used by the climate sceptics. Lilley told RT that the CRU e-mails demonstrated example of an unconscious conspiracy by a group of scientists, who from reading the emails, are so loyal to each other, that they are determined to agree with each other even more than they are determined to agree with the facts. So if the facts no longer agree with their theory, they try and change the facts rather than trying to change their theory. And the people who benefit from it, are obviously the scientists themselves because they feel morally superior, they're leading a crusade, apparently to save the world, they believe in it profoundly even when the facts refute them, and they also get large grants from government for carrying on this sort of research, and they wouldn't get it if they produced the opposite sort of conlusions...It will be a blow to their credibility, but so great is the momentum, so large is the amount of money invested in this theory, that it will take even more than this exposure to derail it, I fear...I'm certain from having read a lot of emails and documents, that they were adjusting the data and manipulating the data, concealing the doubts they had internally, and continuing to express certainty externally. There's even examples of the computer codes that they've adjusted to cut off the evidence of the recent period of global cooling. For the last decade, the world hasn't heated up as their theories suggested it should have done, indeed it's cooled slightly. So they cut that out of their computers and they cut it out of the diagrams and so on that they produce. And likewise, they've altered the data in the past, or they've selected data from the past which has wiped out the evidence of the so-called medieval warming period, when the world was probably warmer than it is now. Because after all if it was warmer then without us or burning lots of hydrocarbons, it suggests that hydrocarbons aren't the only things that cause the temperature and the climate to change...I'm a physicist by training...[I accept] that doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will produce a modest warming in the climate, but nothing like the alarmist fears which these scientists have been trying to generate or that lie behind the Copenhagen conference. I think the one thing we can predict with great certainty is that the Copenhagen conference will not achieve a legally binding agreement...[75]

It is not surprising to find that climate sceptic Peter Lilley is connected to the Bow Group, a think tank which vigorously denies the scientific consensus on climate change and describes AGW as a religion.[76] This is another example of major allegations against climate scientists made by climate sceptics occurring during the climategate controversy. Viriditas (talk) 23:16, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

attribution of allegations part 2

I have repeated the experiment to address various possibly valid criticisms. This time I have used a Google News search, with a date range of anything published since 1st May 2010 (i.e. last 12 months), searching only for the keywords 'climategate allegations'. Google's internal ranking is the random element. Note that I have included all hits to show below the ones I discard as unreliable, dead links, and so on.

Note this results in 5 pages of Google hits and I have only reviewed the first page (or 40 links).

The result is slightly different.

  1. leaves 'allegations' generally unattributed: [77], [78], [79], [80], [81], [82], [83], [84], [85], [86], [87], [88], [89]
  2. attributes specific allegations of manipulating and suppressing data to climate skeptics: [90], [91], [92], [93] (Note this one suggests the allegations came from Senator Inhofe)., [94], [95], [96], [97], [98], [99]
  3. attributes the allegations of manipulating and suppressing data to some climate skeptics: [100]
  4. attributes 'allegations' generally to 'critics' : [101], [102] (Note this sentence: "This case is unusual in that the investigation [into Mann] was prompted by calls and e-mails from university alumni, state and local politicians, and others, according to a draft of the report. Usually, universities launch scientific fraud investigations only when specific charges are brought by a colleague.")
  5. attributes 'allegations' generally to the media (Fox News, CNN, NBC, CBS etc.): [103]
  6. attributes 'allegations' generally to climate skeptics: [104], [105]
  7. doesn't discuss 'allegations' generally: [106]
  8. unreliable sources: [107], [108] (An interesting piece, though, because it also attributes allegations generally to the media). [109], [110], [111], [112], [113], [114], [115], [116]
  9. dead links: [117]

Given that only 2 out of the first 40 hits29 hits for reliable sources use the kind of wording Viriditas et al. propose, I think it is clear that NPOV demands we do not use this wording. It is possible, I suppose, that we could shift to the wording of category 2, i.e. make it clear at least what the 'allegations' actually refers to. But I still don't agree with this, as we already see that one reliable (and another reliable looking blog) attribute 'allegations' to the mass media, not to scientists. Other articles, if these are read carefully, suggest that the emails suggest the allegations themselves.

For the lead, it would make the most sense to do what most of the sources do, i.e. not attribute the allegations at all. Alex Harvey (talk) 14:09, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Not useful for the same reason as above. The first (and the largest) problem is that you are not sorting away the articles that do not address the question that you are trying to answer. Thus your X in N comparison is completely off tilter. (not to mention that it is original research) --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 14:21, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're trying to say here. If you mean I should have removed some links from the sample before saying '2 in 40' that's a valid point. I should have removed the unreliable and dead links category. In that case, it's 2 in 29, and I've struck that from above. Otherwise you'll have to explain this some more. Alex Harvey (talk) 14:35, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is obvious that you didn't consider this - i have no problems assuming good faith :) The trouble is that if you want to get an answer to a question ("was allegations made by sceptics") then you need articles that address that question. Articles that do not address that question are irrelevant to the question. The random check i did with the links above (the reliable ones) gave articles that summerize the inquiries - but not what/where the question addressed by the inquiries originated. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 14:41, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Um, Kim -- maybe I'm missing something here, but if someone maintains that "all swans are white", and someone else produces several black swans, doesn't this refute the "all swans are white" proposition -- even if person #2 gets his black swans at the bird shop? Best regards, Pete Tillman (talk) 20:07, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
That is not the question asked. It is not "accusations were only voiced by sceptics" - but "accusations originated with sceptics". In swan terminology it would be: Virus X originated amongst white swans. If you found a black swan with virus X then you haven't disputed the first sentence - since it could've gotten if from a white swan. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:15, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah, black swan theory. If significant, a third party reliable source would have noted them and, as said above, addressed the question. Otherwise, too rare to be given undue weight by being mentioned in this context. . . dave souza, talk 22:00, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Kim, do you know of any sources or have any thoughts on finding sources that do actually discuss the origins of various allegations? I agree these would be better, but I can't find any. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:31, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

V's changes

I had just made some changes to bring wording into line with reliable sources as the above threads have borne out. These were reverted, and some absurdly biased material was added instead by Viriditas, some of it in outright spite of previous consensus. Here is the diff [118].

The problems with this new wording are many:

  • "hacked" / "Soon after the data theft", this is again, as Pete pointed out above, spite to a wide consensus against referring to theft in the lead from the archives.
  • "files were removed from CRU's servers". Well this is plainly untrue. Nothing was deleted.
  • "conspiratorial claims". While we all know by now that, in V's opinion, there is a conspiracy, because he keeps accusing other editors, post after post, of being a part of it, this is not, however, reflected in the reliable sources (except possibly in primary sources that V mentions a number of times above).
  • "alleging malfeasance". The sources, as I have painstakingly shown above, say that allegations were of manipulating and suppressing data. While this is arguably the same as malfeasance, the sources don't say this.
  • "The traditional media reported on these complaints just before negotiations over climate change mitigation began during the Copenhagen Summit, leading scientists and commentators to speculate that the claims were designed to undermine the conference." Which scientists and commentators, and how can this speculation belong in the lead?

I would ask V to please self-revert these changes. Alex Harvey (talk) 15:39, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Alex, I would like to see these reliable sources you say you used to make your changes. From what I can tell, your edits to the lead section were not based on any sources. I disagree with your assessment that my edits were absurd or biased in any way, and even though you keep claiming this, you've never been able to support it. In direct response to your points above:
  • "hacked" / "Soon after the data theft". This is how the article describes the incident, and it is how our best reliable sources describe it. The information industry trade newspaper Information World Review writes: "[climategate] refers to the immense conspiracy theory that became big news after computers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) were hacked last November..." The American Geophysical Union writes that "Nothing in the University of East Anglia hacked e-mails represents a significant challenge to that body of scientific evidence." This article is properly categorized under Category:Hacking (computer security) and the word "hack" appears in this article and its sources numerous times. Alex, you are attempting to place undue weight on the uncertainty of the hack and increase doubt above and beyond the sources. Our best sources refer to it as a hack and that's good enough for us.
  • "files were removed from CRU's servers". Since fixed by another editor.
  • "conspiratorial claims". The claims about climate scientists arising from "climategate" are virtually identical and indistinguishable from global warming conspiracy theory. In fact, that is exactly what they are. You have been provided with source after source referring to the climate sceptic claims as conspiratorial, such as the above by Venkatraman in Information World Review (2010), Pearce in New Scientist (2009), Goertzel in Nature (2010), and Winterton in his book published by the Royal Society of Chemistry (2010), as only several examples. There is source after source in the news indexes and literature referring to these claims as conspiracies, even by the climate sceptics. Then, we have our current article which frames these conspiracies in our article. There is no question or dispute that climate sceptics, according to Goertzel, "accused Professor Phil Jones of conspiring with his collaborators to manipulate climate data and the scientific literature." And there is no question that this is the same recycled global warming conspiracy theory with a new name.
  • "alleging malfeasance". Roger A. Pielke says it (but in the context of disagreeing with those who claim data was manipulated or surpressed), Forbes says it, Scientific American says it, and the list goes on and on. At this point, Alex, whenever you say "the sources don't say this", I'm inclined to read that as "all the sources say and support it". Please do research before making claims you can't support. The term "malfeasance" is correct and supported.
  • "Copenhagen". This "speculation" is in the lead because the lead summarizes the body of the article. Surely, you've read our article? Do you require more sources on the importance of "climategate" and its impact on Copenhagen? Look no farther than the sources in our own article. How many reliable sources talk about this? Do the research, Alex.
I don't see anything to self-revert, Alex. Viriditas (talk) 20:43, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any justification, except possibly for "malfeasance"; however another editor pointed out that only "misfeasance" was actually alleged, and "nonfeasance" was potentially proved. Copenhagen requires much more in the body before it might belong in the lede, and the your claim that the "best sources" call it a "hack" requires cherry-picking of the "best sources". I agree that consensus is that "hack" belongs in the body, but I consider it weak enough that it shouldn't be in the lede without a separate consensus. And the conspiracy in question is not the standard global warming conspiracy theory; not all conspiracy theories involving global warming are global warming conspiracy theories; if you can work in [[conspiracy theory|conspiratorial claims]], I could see the connection. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:22, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, your continued blind reverts based on what you "see" are not acceptable. All of the material you removed and dispute is supported by the current article and the majority of the sources. After all this time, have you still avoided reading the article you reverted and the sources it supports? For the last time, Arthur, we don't edit Wikipedia based on what you personally "see" or believe. Either produce current sources that challenge the material you removed or refrain from editing the article. Source after source after source supports the material you deleted and is already in the article. I do not see where you have offered a single justification for removing this content except "I don't like it", and that isn't good enough. As you were previously informed per WP:LEAD, claiming that the body must be expanded before inclusion in the lead is not correct. The conspiracy in question is none other than the same global warming conspiracy trotted out whenever climate change mitigation is discussed in terms of public policy. These facts are not in question. That the sources call this a hack is already proven and nothing was cherry picked. What reason can you offer, based on the sources, to justify your edits, Arthur? Viriditas (talk) 05:47, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not supported by the present article. It may be supported by the references in the present article, or by other references you've given, but the lead is supposed to be supported by the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 12:33, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
If it's supported by references both in the present article, and by others that Viriditas has given, why not help out by improving the article a bit? --Nigelj (talk) 15:56, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Because I still think the article is horribly biased, and find it difficult to "write for the enemy". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
How is the article "horribly biased" Arthur? In previous discussions you've been asked about this, and your answer appears to be "because it does not conform with my personal beliefs about global warming conspiracy"? Have I accurately summarized your POV, Arthur? And, can you show me diffs of any content contributions you've made to this article aside from tag-teaming and blind, blanket reverts to remove reliably sourced, mainstream content that you personally disagree with? Arthur, are you aware that more than 80% of conservatives in the United States believe that anthropogenic climate change is a left-wing conspiracy? Are you also aware that they do not accept the scientific consensus on climate change? How should Wikipedia deal with these fringe viewpoints, Arthur? Should we, for example, deal with them in the same way we deal with intelligent design? Viriditas (talk) 05:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
In regard global warming conspiracy theory; even if they were the same, we would need a specific reliable source making the connection. I can't see how a rational person would believe that this is the standard "global warming conspiracy theory". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:27, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, since you are claiming they are different, you will need to both provide sources for that claim and explain how they are different. There is no difference. Viriditas (talk) 05:47, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, the WP:BURDEN is on you to show they are the same. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 12:33, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, you were already offered multiple sources showing it. How many do you require, Arthur? Here's Newsweek: "For skeptics, the 1,000 or so e-mails and documents hacked last year from the Climactic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UEA), in England, establish that global warming is a scientific conspiracy."[119] All of the mainstream reliable sources say this. This is not in dispute by anyone. Viriditas (talk) 06:48, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
There is one reference to Copenhagen in the body. You'll need more than one climatologist to make the connection in order for it to be in the lede. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:34, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
The connection is made by the majority of the sources on the subject, and appears in many of the sources in the article. I would be more than happy to expand it and add more sources, but I would be even happier to see you start reading the sources and doing actual research before making these blind reverts and silly claims. Viriditas (talk) 05:47, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I rescanned the body for references to Copenhagen or the IPCC. There was one reference to Copenhagen in the "Climatatologist" section. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 12:33, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, we are having a breakdown in communication again. Most of the reference in this article refer to Copenhagen. Have you looked at them? I am concerned that you are continuing to revert changes that are not only supported by the majority of our sources, but are uncontroversial. Arthur, please look at the sources in this article to begin your search. For only a small example, let's look at the first 20 sources in this article and see if they discuss Copenhagen and support the wording in our article and the lead. Here are the first six with matching ref numbers:
7. Revkin, Andrew C. (20 November 2009). "Hacked E-Mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute". New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
9.Stewart, Will; Delgado, Martin (6 December 2009). "Were Russian security services behind the leak of 'Climategate' emails?". Daily Mail. London. 
10. Webster, Ben (6 December 2009). "Climate e-mails were hijacked 'to sabotage summit'". The Times. London. 
12. Arthur, Charles; Evans, Rob; Leigh, David; Pearce, Evans (4 February 2010). "Climate emails: were they really hacked or just sitting in cyberspace?". The Guardian. London. 
16.Ravillious, Kate (8 December 2009). "Hacked email climate scientists receive death threats". The Guardian. London. 
17. Richard Girling "The leak was bad. Then came the death threats" The Sunday Times, 7 February 2010.
Arthur, please get in the habit of reading the sources in our article. Viriditas (talk) 20:04, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I was aware of that connection from when this story first broke. I can't believe that it was only me and one climatologist who connected the two worldwide. A Google for "climategate copenhagen" gives 451,000 results beginning with TimesOnLine, Fox News and CBS. I think we should be able to find one or two RSs more if it would help.
They are already in this article. And they are linked to other articles like this. Viriditas (talk) 20:04, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Those references are already in the article, but are not used in the body of the article to connect climategate to Copenhagen. What needs to be done is to fix the body of the article (probably in another section, as it doesn't seem to fit existing sections), before Copenhagen should be mentioned in the lede. And I'm not completely convinced that your interpretation of the references are correct in this instance; your interpretation of some other references (as you reported them in other sections, above, or archived) are completely absurd. I'll check in few minutes (I'm on my laptop, and using a different browser, which doesn't allow me to readily pop up the references and come back here.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
No, Arthur. Those references are already in the article, and other, additional refernences are used to support the relationship of "Climategate" to Copenhagen. Either you are having trouble understanding what is written here, or you are intentionally engaging in nothing but ojbection after objection, even after it has been shown that not only is the current content supported in the article with sources, but it is additionally supported by other sources throughout the article, making it not only uncontroversial, but consistently cited. Your comment that you are not convinced while admitting that you have not even read them to begin with, tells me that there is a clear record of you performing nothing but blind reverts based on nothing but blind objections to content and sources that you have neither read nor understood. In fact, we have diff after diff after diff of you doing just that. How can you possibly justify or explain your behavior, Arthur? I mean, how can you come here, make nothing but reverts and claim that the material is not supported, and when you are shown that the material is soundly supported, admit that you never bothered to read it in the first place? This cannot be allowed to continue. Viriditas (talk) 04:34, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Kevin is still the only person quoted as saying that the connection with Copenhagen was intentional. I read all except the .ece files, ([10] and [17], as my browser rejects them). It should be pointed out that [12] notes that some of the "stolen" files had been residing on public ftp servers. The new "guardian" article also notes Gordon Brown attributes the intent. That it had an effect on Copenhagen is reasonably sourced, but that the intent of the leak was to derail Copenhagen is sourced only to a few, and that the intent of the climate sceptics in leaking the files was to derail Copenhagen doesn't seem to be sourced to anyone in particular (as of yet, in a reliable source), although Kevin undoubtably believes it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:49, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, whatever are you talking about? The claim that is sourced is that "scientists and commentators...speculate that the claims were designed to undermine the conference." You have not challenged this at all, and it is sourced in dozens to possibly hundreds of mainstream reliable sources, many of which are already in our article. Why did you remove it? Viriditas (talk) 05:01, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
So far, the references I've been able to read quote Kevin and Gordon Brown as so speculating. None of the articles have such speculation in the editorial voice. What "scientists and commentators are involved? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, are you joking? There are hundreds of sources on this subject with many scientists and commentators observing that the hacking appeared timed to undermine the Copenhagen conference. We even have climate sceptic sources saying that they fervently hope and wish that it undermines the conference and prevents an agreement on climate mitigation. I have no idea what you are asking or require, and something tells me, neither do you. Would you like a list of claimants and sources? Viriditas (talk) 06:57, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Reversion of "conspiracy theory" edit

Tillman, you recently tag-team reverted a series of edits to the lead with the edit summary "Revert conspiracy theory edit. Clear NPOV violation, not impartial tone, loaded term."[120] Please use the talk page to explain your revert, making sure you address how this could possibly be a NPOV violation when I have shown that the vast majority of reliable sources support it and how this could be impartial or loaded. Please use reliable sources to make your case. Viriditas (talk) 04:34, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I've reverted the "conspiracy theory" edit diff as a clear NPOV policy violation: inappropriate, inflammatory tone and failure to maintain impartiality. Please don't add this back again. --Pete Tillman (talk) 04:34, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
There is not a single thing about the edit that violates NPOV, nor is it inappropriate, inflammatory or impartial. You cannot assert these things without providing evidence for them. On Wikipedia, we use sources. In this particular case, the reliable sources support the wording, and your revert removed a lot of content that was not even related to what you call "conspiracy theory". In fact, you made a tag-team, blind revert to Arthur Rubin's version. Viriditas (talk) 04:38, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Viriditas, please read the policy on this, and please WP:Assume good faith. This is not a borderline NPOV case, and I am the third editor to object to your edit. Please desist. --Pete Tillman (talk) 04:47, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I have assumed AGF, Tillman, and I know, understand, and practice the policies. You apparently did not read this thread where Arthur admitted blindly reverting based on his personal knowledge of the subject and ignoring the sources. Are you also ignoring the sources, Tillman? The material you removed is fully supported and you have not been able to challenge this support in any way whatsoever other than to say "I don't like it", which is not acceptable. Here is a list of the material you removed. I expect you to challenge it with reliable sources that oppose it or admit that you can't challenge it, in which case it will be added back into the article:
1. The Climatic Research Unit email controversy' (commonly known as "Climategate") began in November 2009 when a server was hacked at the University of East Anglia's (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU)
Why was the word "hacked" removed from the lead section? The sources in the article support this term.
2. Soon after the data theft, the climate sceptic blogosphere circulated conspiratorial claims alleging malfeasance by climate scientists.
Why was this wording removed from the article? It is supported by the majority of mainstream sources on the subject and is not in dispute. Even the climate sceptics themselves describe it as a conspiracy. And what makes this conspiracy different from global warming conspiracy theory? Is it different? In what way?
3. The traditional media reported on these complaints just before negotiations over climate change mitigation began during the Copenhagen Summit, leading scientists and commentators to speculate that the claims were designed to undermine the conference.
A documented historical fact, as shown above, supported by the majority of sources in the article. Why was it removed?
4. The incident was described as a "public relations disaster" for scientists
Why was this wording removed?
Again, I'm waiting for an explanation from Tillman for his revert. I had previously asked Arthur Rubin for an explanation and received nothing except an admission that he hasn't read a single source on the subject. Viriditas (talk) 05:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

NPOV problems in the lede

I've been busy with other things, and was taken aback when I read our current lede. I don't believe the lede presently has an impartial tone, and I reverted a recent "conspiracy theory" addition; see above. Here's what WP:NPOV policy says about impartial tone:

Wikipedia describes disputes. Wikipedia does not engage in disputes. A neutral characterization of disputes requires presenting viewpoints with a consistently impartial tone, otherwise articles end up as partisan commentaries even while presenting all relevant points of view. Even where a topic is presented in terms of facts rather than opinions, inappropriate tone can be introduced through the way in which facts are selected, presented, or organized. Neutral articles are written with a tone that provides an unbiased, accurate, and proportionate representation of all positions included in the article.
The tone of Wikipedia articles should be impartial, neither endorsing nor rejecting a particular point of view. Try not to quote directly from participants engaged in a heated dispute; instead, summarize and present the arguments in an impartial tone. Source: [121]

There are quite a number of loaded words in the current draft of the lede. Here's one set of examples:

  • ... when a server was hacked ...
  • ... Soon after the data theft ...

We had a very long and very contentious discussion of this topic, and I would encourage editors who are proposing to use such loaded terms in the lede to pleas spend some time in the Talk archives, before reopening this particular can of worms. There you will find reliable sources who describe the unauthorized release of the CRU documents in many ways, often slanted, some inflammatory. Indeed, many RS's, perhaps even the majority, use such terms. But Wikipedia by policy will not, to achieve an impartial tone and WP:Neutral point of view, one of our core policies. Both policy and the clear consensus here, then and now, is to avoid loaded or inflammatory terms in the lede, and instead use neutral language, such as unauthorized release.

Editors who contribute to this article should be aware that it has been extraordinarily contentious. Please make every effort to keep your language neutral and impartial, and to build consensus for proposed additions, Thank you, Pete Tillman (talk) 05:09, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

You have not answered my questions about your revert, nor have you demonstrated how the reliable sources were used impartially. Your argument amounts to "I don't like it", which is not acceptable. Viriditas (talk) 05:15, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Viriditas, I'm sorry, but you have no consensus for adding this contentious material. Pete Tillman (talk) 05:27, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
You're very, very confused. The material is already in the article and represented by the finest sources on the subject. Your comments here have not addressed or justified your reverts to the lead section, a section which is supposed to summarize the topic. Consensus never trumps policy, nor does it allow for a group of POV pushers to tag team revert without using the talk page to explain their reasoning. You and Arthur have failed to answer every question asked of you in this regard, and Arthur has admitted to blindly reverting without reading the sources. The only NPOV issue here is your repeated reversion of uncontroversial, historical material that is reliably sourced and accepted without dispute. You need to explain your reverts immediately. Viriditas (talk) 05:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
As I have pointed out at least 5 times, the material is not in the article. References which support the material may be in the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Which material is not in the article? As I have pointed out to you many times WP:LEAD allows for material to be in the lead that is not in the body, and encourages editors to expand the body if needed, not revert. But that tangential misdirerection does not answer or explain Tillman's false and unsubstantiated claims of NPOV violations or bias. In fact, you and Tillman have not explained your reverts at all. The sources support the material and they have been repeatedly provided in discussion after discussion. Viriditas (talk) 06:10, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Reliable sources

Tillman's revert and claims that the classification of climategate allegations as conspiracy theory are biased is without merit. Our best sources on the subject support the wording that "conspiratorial claims alleging malfeasance by climate scientists" were circulated by climate skeptics. This is not in dispute by any reliable source and is supported by almost every statement made by climate skeptics, in their own words.

Here is a very small sample of the sources on the subject:

  • "The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth...has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed...As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be "the greatest in modern science". These alleged emails...suggest: Conspiracy, collusion...manipulation of data...the most damaging revelations...are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause....The world is currently cooling...The so-called "sceptical" now also, thank heaven, the majority view.
Delingpole, James (November 20, 2009). "Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?". The Telegraph. 
  • "Ignore the unwarranted claims that hacked emails from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK expose human-made climate change as a conspiracy."
Pearce, Fred (December 16, 2009). "Battle for climate data approaches tipping point". New Scientist. 
  • "...more than 1,000 e-mails between top researchers were hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, UK, just weeks before the Copenhagen climate summit began...The e-mails did, however, embolden sceptics, who interpreted them as evidence of a global conspiracy."
Buchen, Lizzie (December 31, 2009). "Climate e-mails were hacked". Nature. 462 (7276): 962. 
  • "Climate change ‘sceptics’ have accused Professor Phil Jones of conspiring with his collaborators to manipulate climate data and the scientific literature..."
Goertzel, Ted (June 11, 2010). "Conspiracy theories in science". EMBO Reports. European Molecular Biology Organization: 493–499. doi:10.1038/embor.2010.84. 
  • "The popular myth that the 'climategate' e-mails revealed a conspiracy to suppress uncertainties about climate change could hardly be further from the truth. Instead they revealed a scientific community obsessed by uncertainty, in start contrast to the mysterious confidence of many of its critics.
Allen, Myles (July 1, 2010). "Embracing an uncertain future". Nature. 466: 31. doi:10.1038/466031a. 
  • "For skeptics, the 1,000 or so e-mails and documents hacked last year from the Climactic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UEA), in England, establish that global warming is a scientific conspiracy."
Somaiya, Ravi (July 7, 2010). "Third Inquiry Clears 'Climategate' Scientists of Serious Wrongdoing". Newsweek. 
  • "Perhaps now we can put the manufactured controversy known as Climategate behind us and turn to the task of actually doing something about global warming. On Wednesday, a panel in Britain concluded that scientists whose e-mail had been hacked late last year had not, as critics alleged, distorted scientific evidence to prove that global warming was occurring and that human beings were primarily responsible...Climate skeptics pounced on them as evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate research to support predetermined ideas about global warming...The panel found no such conspiracy."
. The New York Times. July 11, 2010. p. 7. ISSN 0362-4331.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • "The name [Climategate] refers to the immense conspiracy theory that became big news after computers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) were hacked last November, and more than a 1,000 confidential emails posted on the internet."
Venkatraman, Archana (September/October 2010). "Data Without the Doubts". Information World Review. Bizmedia Ltd.: 18–19.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • "The use of terms such as 'Contragate', 'Cheriegate', 'Bloodgate' and now 'Climategate' evokes the 'Watergate' scandal. Watergate is a one-word shorthand for illegal and unethical attempts to suborn the political process (and a high-level conspiracy to cover it up)...the scandal [Climategate] the journalists and commentators were seeking to highlight was not the theft of personal documents, but an alleged conspiracy involving leading climate scientists."
Winterton, Neil (2010). "The Chemist as Citizen". Chemistry for Sustainable Technologies: A Foundation. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 1847558135. 
  • "The e-mails and other documents that were published in Climategate reveal a conspiracy among many of the movers and shakers in the climate science community..."
Hannity, Sean (2010). "Obama the Socialist". Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda. HarperCollins. p. 91. ISBN 0062003054. 
  • "The conspiracy claims were fuelled by CRU’s refusal to share the most detailed aspects of its methodologies, for example, the computer codes for producing global temperature averages...Critics of CRU have suggested that Professor Jones’s use of the word “trick” is evidence that he was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that did not fit his view that recent global warming is predominately caused by human activity...Critics of CRU have suggested that Professor Jones’s use of the words “hide the decline” is evidence that he was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that did not fit his view that recent global warming is predominantly caused by human activity."
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (September 2010). Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology 8th Report of Session 2009-10: The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (PDF). The Stationery Office. ISBN 9780101793421. 
  • "This year was ushered in by the phony "Climategate" controversy, which involved leaked e-mails of a British climate research unit; the political right wing depicted some ill-considered language in the messages as proof of a vast global plot. Independent reviews have since rejected the charges of scientific conspiracy, but the damage is done: the U.S. public once again swings toward disbelief in the basic science of human-induced climate change."
Sachs, Jeffrey D. (September 2010). "The Deeping Crisis". 303 (3). Scientific American: 32. ISSN 0036-8733. 
  • "...public confidence in climate scientists and their science is at an all-time low. This loss of confidence is a direct result of a long-standing campaign to discredit them, initially mounted and funded by business interests and libertarian-conservative organisations. The campaign made good use of strategies honed by the tobacco industry and soon recruited an army of "sceptics": some opposed to government regulation per se, some resistant to claims to intellectual authority (especially scientific), and some mobilised by a version of everyone's right to an opinion. The upshot is that internet sites, radio and TV channels now transmit "contrarian" attacks on climate scientists on a daily basis. Even responsible newspapers seeking "balance" contribute to the false impression that climate scientists are deeply divided about the danger and relevance of human activity to global warming. Not knowing who or what to believe, the natural response of the public is to do nothing. "Climategate" may well have brought tensions to a breaking point. The term was coined to describe the scandals erupting, first, from the theft and release of some scientists' private emails, and second, from the exposure of an error in a report by a subcommittee of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate scientists were charged with mounting a "hoax" and engaging in "fraud" and "conspiracy", and bombarded with threats."
Keller, Evelyn Fox (January 8, 2011). "Stick to your guns". 209 (2794). New Scientist. p. 3. ISSN 0262-4079. 

There is no doubt, no uncertainty, no question that the reliable sources consider and classify the allegations made by climate sceptics as global warming conspiracy theory, and that the climate sceptics themselves call it a conspiracy. If Tillman and Arthur feel this is biased, then I suggest they need to do some research on the subject, because we have the primary and the secondary sources referring to the allegations as a "conspiracy" in an unambiguous manner throughout the literature. On Wikipedia, we go with the best sources, and these sources classify the climategate allegations as a conspiracy theory. Viriditas (talk) 09:55, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Pete is correct and I thank him for saving me from having to exercise my own right to revert the same contentious additions.

Viriditas, this barrage of sources is completely beside the point.

I now ask you the same question I've now asked you probably 10 times that you (and other editors) consistently refuse to answer.

Do you understand the difference between a reliably sourced opinion and a fact?

Because you are not allowed to use Wikipedia's voice to state reliably sourced opinions. That is the end of the matter. You aren't allowed to do it.


Avoid stating opinions as facts. Usually, articles will contain information about the significant opinions that have been expressed about their subjects. However, these opinions should not be stated in Wikipedia's voice. Rather, they should be attributed in the text to particular sources, or where justified, described as "widespread views", etc. For example, an article should not state that "genocide is an evil action", but it may state that "genocide has been described by John X as the epitome of human evil."

Are you really unable to see that a description of allegations of manipulating data as 'conspiratorial' is irreducibly a matter of opinion, whether in a reliable source or otherwise? Alex Harvey (talk) 10:26, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Pete is incorrect as are you, and the sources show that there is no evidence of a dispute. The reliable sources on this subject, including the claims by climate sceptics themselves, describe the "allegations of manipulating data" as a conspiracy theory. If you personally disagree with what the sources say, then you will provide a reliable source that disputes this classification. What source are you offering that disputes the claim that climategate allegations are rooted in global warming conspiracy? Is there a reliable source that dispute this? No, there is not, because the very climate sceptics who made these claims in the first place call it a conspiracy. There is no dispute here, Alex. You claim that this is an opinion, so therefore, I must ask you, who has this opinion, and more importantly, who does not? Please answer the question, Alex. We use reliable sources to write articles, not your personal opinion. So, I ask you, Alex, just as asked Tillman and Arthur, where is the bias? Climate sceptics, climate scientists, journalists, scientific bodies, politicians, and commentators are all in agreement that the climategate allegations are founded in a conspiracy theory. Here are twelve examples:
  1. Delingpole, James (November 20, 2009). "Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?". The Telegraph.
  2. Pearce, Fred (December 16, 2009). "Battle for climate data approaches tipping point". New Scientist.
  3. Goertzel, Ted (June 11, 2010). "Conspiracy theories in science". EMBO Reports (European Molecular Biology Organization): 493-499. doi:10.1038/embor.2010.84.
  4. Allen, Myles (July 1, 2010). "Embracing an uncertain future". Nature 466: 31. doi:10.1038/466031a.
  5. Somaiya, Ravi (July 7, 2010). "Third Inquiry Clears 'Climategate' Scientists of Serious Wrongdoing". Newsweek.
  6. The New York Times. July 11, 2010. p. 7. ISSN 03624331.
  7. Venkatraman, Archana (September/October 2010). "Data Without the Doubts". Information World Review (Bizmedia Ltd.): 18-19.
  8. Winterton, Neil (2010). "The Chemist as Citizen". Chemistry for Sustainable Technologies: A Foundation. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 1847558135.
  9. Hannity, Sean (2010). "Obama the Socialist". Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda. HarperCollins. p. 91. ISBN 0062003054.
  10. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (September 2010). Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology 8th Report of Session 2009-10: The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The Stationery Office. ISBN 9780101793421.
  11. Sachs, Jeffrey D. (September 2010). The Deeping Crisis. 303. Scientific American. pp. 32. ISSN 00368733.
  12. Keller, Evelyn Fox (January 8, 2011). "Stick to your guns". 209. New Scientist. p. 3. ISSN 02624079.
There are more where those came from. On what basis do you discount the use of these sources, and on what criteria do you dismiss the labeling of these allegations as a conspiracy theory? We go with what the sources say, and they are in agreement that this a conspiracy theory rooted in global warming conspiracy theory. Do you disagree? If so, which sources are you using to base your disagreement? Viriditas (talk) 10:55, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
You can bombard us with as many sources as you like, but it won't stop me noticing that, once again, you have refused to answer the question. Your response also suggests you just don't get the policy. Who would disagree that genocide is 'evil'? Yet you are not allowed to use Wikipedia's voice to say that -- even if all the sources agree. In this case, there are thousands who would disagree that the allegations were 'conspiratorial', and there are reliable sources expressing contrary views, but it would make not a bit of difference even if there was no one. That this is a matter of opinion merely follows from the meaning of the terms here. "Conspiratorial" is a subjective term. Alex Harvey (talk) 11:18, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
If this is subjective as you claim, you will now offer a reliable source that disagrees and disputes the classification of the allegations as a conspiracy. Please provide it, now. How many times do I have to ask you for it? All of the sources, from the climate sceptics to the scientists, from the journalists to the politicians, are in agreement that this is a conspiracy. Is this not making sense to you? If this is not a conspiracy, then you will offer sources saying that. Please do so, now. We do not write articles based on what you think is subjective, appropriate, inappropriate, acceptable, or unacceptable. We write articles based on the sources. Is this making sense to you yet? The sources say that the allegations in question are synonymous with the global warming conspiracy theory. Do you disagree with these sources, Alex? If you do, then you will provide sources substantiating your disagreement. For example, Newsweek says that climate skeptics believe that the hacked CRU e-mails and documents "establish that global warming is a scientific conspiracy." Do you disagree with this assessment, Alex? Then, which source are you using to base your disagreement upon? Viriditas (talk) 11:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Alex, while you are busy trying to find sources for the "thousands who would disagree that the allegations were 'conspiratorial", take a look at our article on Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories. Is it "subjective" to call these citizenship theories "conspiracies"? What should they be called in your opinion? What about the more than 200 articles classified under Category:Conspiracy theories? Is this also subjective and against policy as you claim? What kind of evidence would we need to describe the allegations by climate skeptics as a conspiracy theory, in the same way that the allegations by birthers are described as conspiracy theories? Haven't I already provided that evidence? If not, what is the difference, and what bar must it pass to meet your criteria? Please answer these important questions. Are the more than 200 articles classified as conspiracy theories in violation of Wikipedia policy? What are the core, fundamental claims of the climate skeptics against the CRU scientists? Aren't these claims properly classified as conspiracy theories by the reliable sources? Which RS dispute this classification? Viriditas (talk) 11:55, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

V, the way you have used 'conspiratorial', i.e. as an adjective describing a noun 'allegations', is subjective. This is just basic English comprehension. If you said, 'allegations of a conspiracy' (i.e. conspiracy as a noun), that would be at least factual, in that it is a reliably sourced fact that 'allegations of a conspiracy' were made. Do you see what I'm saying? Alex Harvey (talk) 12:14, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Did climate sceptics circulate global warming conspiracy theories alleging malfeasance by climate scientists? Yes or no? What do the sources say? Viriditas (talk) 12:54, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
(And I checked and found that the Obama article is a hopelessly biased pro-Obama... And I think Obama is a great President but that doesn't mean I want to see this biased nonsense written about his enemies... I'm sure he doesn't either.) Alex Harvey (talk) 12:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
That's strange, since that article isn't about Obama; it's about the conspiracy theory. Viriditas (talk) 12:54, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
It appears I was wrong, in part. Material in the lede which is neither in the article nor sourced in the lede may be summarily removed, until sources are added. That covers almost all of the material you've been adding. It should appear in the body, but that's not technically a requirement. You have now added references supporting the global warming conspiracy theory. Fine. Put it in the body or put it in the lede with references, and it may be disputed on WP:NPOV or WP:UNDUE grounds, but should not be summarily removed under WP:OR or WP:SYNTH (except under WP:BLP, which doesn't seem to apply to what you're trying to add to the lede, as no individuals are named). I actually don't agree with Tillman's reasoning why the article is WP:NPOV. My reasoning is that the definition of "reliable source" has been changed to "reliable source quoting or commenting on a primary source with knowledge of the material (whether or not self-serving)", leaving only official and primary sources; the primary sources should not allowed as WP:RS as self-serving, for the most part. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:59, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
'Conspiracy theory' is a pejorative, non neutral term, as is 'conspiratorial'. Alex Harvey (talk) 15:01, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
@ Alex, if the majority [view as shown in good quality] of mainstream sources describe something as a conspiracy theory, we should show that in the article and summarise it in the lead. If some reliable secondary (third party) sources say that the usage is of a "pejorative, non neutral term" we show that too, as a minority view which is significant enough to the subject to be mentioned, though it should not be given undue weight. If only self-published or other unreliable sources make that claim, we should be very careful about using such sources and avoid giving them undue weight.
@ Viriditas, you're presenting what appears to be very valid and useful research here. Would it be possible to use these sources to improve the article, for example expanding the "Media reception" section? That way, the lead you're proposing would be even more explicitly justified in the body of the article. Another suggestion is that the "Content of the documents" main section should simply report the overall statistics, with a subsection on the areas of controversy taking care to show minority claims in the context of measured mainstream analysis of these claims. This would include, of course, the conspiracy theory claims that climate science is a conspiracy. It might be appropriate to have another subsection on the half-dozen most quote-mined emails. . . dave souza, talk 19:31, 9 May 2011 (UTC) [amended as discussion below] dave souza, talk 09:13, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Dave, aside from the fact that you're not getting the policy right, we can safely say that a 'majority' of mainstream sources don't describe anything as a conspiracy theory, so hopefully we can end this line of argument here too. I reviewed the first 40 hits on Google News above and did not find one describing Climategate as a conspiracy theory. Alex Harvey (talk) 07:14, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To make this more apparent, go to Google News, set search range from Aug 2010 to the present (these are V's rules, not mine, that early sources aren't reliable, although I have noted that many of his sources are early). Use a single search term, 'climategate'. I get 447 hits. Now add the second search term 'conspiracy'. That reduces the hits to only 32. Of those 32, I just reviewed all of them. (I have saved my results but won't clutter the talk page further. Email me privately if you want them.) Of those 32, most are op-eds & false positives, i.e. matching either the word 'conspiracy' or 'climategate' in an unrelated context. A number of the pages are no longer available. The only reliable matches that even mention a conspiracy are these ones:

  • [122] "The climate sceptics have had their moment in the sun with the torpedoing of the previous narrative, but they have not succeeded in replacing it with their own – which is that the whole idea is a fraud, a conspiracy on various levels."
  • [123] "And then there was "Climategate," the publication last November of a series of private e-mails between British climate scientists that skeptics say exposed holes in climate science and a conspiracy to hide them."
  • [124] "The emails did not, as some claimed, reveal a massive conspiracy-to con us about climate change."
  • [125] "EPA announced late last month that it would reject those petitions. At the time, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the claims "assert a conspiracy" that runs counter to the conclusions of most prominent scientific organizations"

So none of these describe 'allegations' as 'conspiratorial', and out of several hundred pages on 'climategate', we have 4 reliable sources actually talking about conspiracy or conspiracy theory. Alex Harvey (talk) 07:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

My typo, it's clearer to state "the majority view as shown in good quality mainstream sources" and I've amended my comment accordingly. Your literalness looks increasingly tendentious, and excellent sources shown above precede the arbitrary cut-off date: the principle of using sources which have had time to analyse and consider the various responses stands, so sources from 2009 and the early part of 2010 have to be treated with great care. Even at that, you've found sources, though for example the dailymail has a very bad reputation for reliability so is unsuitable. The significant point remains that critics have repeatedly alleged a "conspiracy" and this conspiracy theory has been noted as such by multiple reliable secondary sources. . . dave souza, talk 09:13, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Your accusation that me taking you literally is yet more evidence of 'tendentiousness' is not merely the latest assumption of bad faith, but also perhaps one of the silliest. Your refactored remark has not even vaguely the same meaning. Now could you explain why we have to follow the wording of 4 reliable sources out of hundreds that avoid this non neutral wording? Alex Harvey (talk) 09:43, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Absence of proof is not proof of absence. You seem to be trying to manufacture a conflict of sources not between sources who claim "X" and sources who claim "not X", but between sources that claim "X" and sources that make no claim at all. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:48, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm editing this after noting your accusation that I'm trying to 'manufacture' something. No, the most important critics simply did not make allegations of general conspiracy. While outliers like Sarah Palin & Senator Inhofe did and right wing journalists like Andrew Bolt & James Delingpole did too, the critics that matter didn't.

It is surely fair to say that the most important critic was Stephen McIntyre, and he did not allege a conspiracy. E.g. from [126]:

I'm not particularly comfortable with either side of the US debate," McIntyre told me. "There are obviously competent and intelligent people that view [global warming] as a serious problem. That doesn't mean that they're right, but it's not a hoax." Nor does he oppose government regulations on principle, as do some of the free-market think tanks that regularly invite him to DC for speaking engagements. "I'm a Canadian," says McIntyre. "I think governments can do things."

It is also relevant that the six inquiries did not investigate a conspiracy theory either. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

That's better, but obviously conspiracy claims were made by others than McIntyre, who by saying that he disagrees with "hoax" claims acknowledges that such claims are prominent in one "side of the US debate". We should report these prominent views from the reliable sources, and in the body of the article note McIntyre as a minority view provided we've got a good source. Unfortunately not everyone seems happy with Mother Jones as a source, and while it's nice to have him dissociating himself from the "hoax" claim so often made by his great supporter Inhofe, he's not actually addressing the specific point that conspiracy theories were prominent in the political and pseudoscientific reaction.
@ Alex, as for trying to manufacture something, your argument poses a false duality, and exposes your inadequate technique for finding sources rather than anything else. If you've only found four sources, the fact that hundreds of other sources don't mention the specific topic is irrelevant, what counts is the quality of the sources and the lack of sources explicitly refuting the point. See WP:NOR and please avoid such synthesis in future, also note that there are more sources above that you don't seem to have discovered. . . . dave souza, talk 13:36, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, Dave, in fact what is happening is that you are ignoring the all important weight guideline. I have shown above, beyond any doubt, that sources generally don't describe the 'allegations' as 'allegations of a conspiracy'. We have seen that since Aug 10 there have been only 4 reliable sources in Google News that uses the word 'conspiracy' at all. I also did a thorough review above to show exactly how reliable sources tend to describe 'allegations'. I did not find one that talked about 'conspiratorial allegations' or 'allegations of a conspiracy'. As for V's sources, half of them are opeds, otherwise unreliable sources, or simply not supporting his wording. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:54, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, Dave is correct, and WP:WEIGHT is a policy, not a guideline, and I suggest you read and understand it as it is you who is in violation of it. The majority of the sources refer to the allegations of the climate skeptics as a conspiracy theory and the climate skeptics themselves label it a conspiracy. You have disputed this state of affairs by claiming "thousands...would disagree that the allegations were 'conspiratorial". Could you please present a single source showing this disagreement? I gave you 12 sources as an example of how climate skeptics, scientists, politicians, journalists and commentators are in complete agreement that these allegations are a conspiracy theory.
  • When Newsweek reports that skeptics believed that the hacked CRU e-mails "establish that global warming is a scientific conspiracy" and that climategate "will probably continue to be cited as evidence of a global-warming conspiracy"[127] it is clear. There is no ambiguity here, Alex.
  • An editorial published on December 1, 2009, in the Investor's Business Daily was titled "The CRU's Criminal Conspiracy." It said, among other things: "So much has been deleted that it may be impossible to release all the data and reveal the tangled web of manipulation. Scientists at the University of East Anglia have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based...Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records...This is not consensus, nor is it peer-reviewed science. This is collusion and conspiracy to defraud, not only those providing grant money and research funding, but governments and taxpayers, particularly our own, of trillions of dollars to mindlessly pursue the greatest scam of the century, perhaps of all time. These charlatans deserve to be locked up."
  • When the journal Nature (Buchen, Dec 31, 2009, Nature 462 (7276): 962) reports in a 2009 news story that the "e-mails...embolden sceptics, who interpreted them as evidence of a global conspiracy", we can assume that the sources are sound.
  • When Archana Venkatraman refers to climategate as an "immense conspiracy theory" in a news story in Information World Review, we know, from looking at the literature, that his feature story is supported additional secondary and primary sources.
  • When James Delingpole refers to climategate as the "conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth" and restates the basic premises of global warming conspiracy theory by claiming that "Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause",[128] we know the secondary sources are accurate in labeling this a conspiracy theory by cross-referencing the primary sources.
  • When Sean Hannity says "Climategate reveal[s] a conspiracy"[129] and when Sen. James Inhofe says that scientists manipulated the data[130][131], we know we are dealing with a conspiracy theory.
  • On April 12, 2010, journalist Elizabeth Kolbert wrote in the New Yorker (Vol. 86, Issue 8): "The e-mails were widely portrayed in the press and in the blogosphere as evidence of a conspiracy to misrepresent the data...No one has ever offered a plausible account of why thousands of scientists at hundreds of universities in dozens of countries would bother to engineer a climate hoax..."[132]
  • When the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change refers to these allegations in their report as "conspiracy claims" by people who maintain that that CRU "was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that did not fit [the] view that recent global warming is predominately caused by human activity",[133] we know we are dealing with global warming conspiracy theory.
  • When Andrew Revkin tells Ira Flatow (Science Friday, July 16, 2010) that the e-mails and documents will "provide conspiracy theorists with lots of fare for a long time to come", we know that the primary and secondary sources match.
  • When Fred Pearce in a New Scientist news article says that skeptics believe the hacked emails "expose human-made climate change as a conspiracy",[134] we know that the sources are in parity.
  • When the Associated Press performed one of the first investigations of climate skeptic allegations in late 2009 and found that the CRU documents "don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked" and "don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions"[135] we know that AP acknowledged that the skeptics were making conspiracy claims.
  • When the Guardian first reported on this topic with the headline, "Climate sceptics claim leaked emails are evidence of collusion among scientists", the conspiracy was explicitly expressed. According to the Guardian, "Climate change sceptics who have studied the emails allege they provide "smoking gun" evidence that some of the climatologists colluded in manipulating data to support the widely held view that climate change is real, and is being largely caused by the actions of mankind."[136] According to the Guardian, Nick Griffin of the British National Party "believes the climate change is a conspiracy by environmentalists and politicians to impose an "anti-human utopia as deadly as anything conceived by Stalin or Mao".[137]
  • British Conservative Party politician Peter Lilley told RT that the CRU e-mails demonstrated "an example of an unconscious conspiracy by a group of scientists, who from reading the emails, are so loyal to each other, that they are determined to agree with each other even more than they are determined to agree with the facts. So if the facts no longer agree with their theory, they try and change the facts rather than trying to change their theory. And the people who benefit from it, are obviously the scientists themselves because they feel morally superior, they're leading a crusade, apparently to save the world, they believe in it profoundly even when the facts refute them, and they also get large grants from government for carrying on this sort of research, and they wouldn't get it if they produced the opposite sort of conclusions...It will be a blow to their credibility, but so great is the momentum, so large is the amount of money invested in this theory, that it will take even more than this exposure to derail it, I fear...I'm certain from having read a lot of emails and documents, that they were adjusting the data and manipulating the data, concealing the doubts they had internally, and continuing to express certainty externally. There's even examples of the computer codes that they've adjusted to cut off the evidence of the recent period of global cooling. For the last decade, the world hasn't heated up as their theories suggested it should have done, indeed it's cooled slightly. So they cut that out of their computers and they cut it out of the diagrams and so on that they produce. And likewise, they've altered the data in the past, or they've selected data from the past which has wiped out the evidence of the so-called medieval warming period, when the world was probably warmer than it is now."[138]
  • An editorial published on July 11, 2010, in The New York Times said: "On Wednesday, a panel in Britain concluded that scientists whose e-mail had been hacked late last year had not, as critics alleged, distorted scientific evidence to prove that global warming was occurring and that human beings were primarily responsible...Climate skeptics pounced on them as evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate research to support predetermined ideas about global warming...The panel found no such conspiracy."
  • When chemist Neil Winterton of the University of Liverpool, fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry,[139][140] writes in a chemistry textbook that "the scandal the journalists and commentators were seeking to highlight was not the theft of personal documents, but an alleged conspiracy involving leading climate scientists"[141] we can assume that the sources are sound.
  • Tom Hollihan,[142] professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, told the San Francisco Chronicle that "the story about a conspiracy to manipulate the data had a unique appeal to people who are drawn naturally to stories about conspiracies and being misled. The more you refute them, the more evidence those people see that the conspiracy is very pervasive."[143] We have an expert on the media describing the allegations as a conspiracy theory in unambiguous terms.
  • When John Cook and environmental scientist Hadyn Washington classify the climate skeptic allegations behind climategate as a conspiracy theory in their book Climate Change Denial (2011), we know we are on solid ground. The book directly addresses the "Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy" argument, "where it was claimed there was a conspiracy to ‘hide the decline’ of global temperatures".[144]
  • When sociologist Ted Goertzel, a published expert on the subject of conspiracy theories at Rutgers University (see "Belief in Conspiracy Theories", Political Psychology 15: 733-744, 1994), classifies the allegations behind climategate as a conspiracy theory in a peer-reviewed journal article,[145][146] with the title "Conspiracy theories in science", we can confidently assume that this classification is sound.
This selected group of sources (many more listed above and many more to come if needed) show that the allegations by climate skepics meet the very definition of global warming conspiracy theory. Alex, is there any source that does not portray the allegations of climate skeptics as a conspiracy theory? What is your criteria for calling these claims conspiracy theories? How has it not been met? Viriditas (talk) 23:25, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
V, I'm not going to read these walls of text you keep bombarding us with, but I do note that you are still inflating your listings with sources like James Dellingpole or Sean Hannity. Why? Are you saying I am also allowed to use Steve McIntyre's blog? The only problem obtaining plenty of sources showing a whole range of views, as you know full well, is that many of them fail as strictly reliable sources. As for Goertzel, what I do notice there is that he distinguishes a 'global warming conspiracy theory' and a 'climategate' conspiracy theory and it is implied that they are not the same thing. A good part of your problem is that you're latching onto any reference to a 'conspiracy' and assuming that when A says 'conspiracy' it is automatically the same as when B says 'conspiracy'. In fact, the word is refers to a variety of things in your sources. Alex Harvey (talk) 00:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, you appear to misunderstand how we use sources. In this particular case, the primary, secondary, and tertiary sources are all in agreement that the allegations are classified as a global warming conspiracy theory. If you disagree, please provide a single source that says otherwise. If you can't, then please remain silent. We have a rare instance where all the sources are in agreement. Your attempt to cast doubt and uncertainty where none exists is noted, but unless you have good sources to support your claim, sources that challenge the conspiracy classification, then I'm afraid you will have to accept it. There is nothing pejorative about describing global warming conspiracy theories and this has been previously pointed out to you before. I'm a bit concerned that your account spends an unusual amount of time on talk pages tendentiously arguing over mundane, uncontroversial content. In fact, you've spent 51.6% of your time on climate-related article talk pages, and another 12.5% on user talk pages.[147] There is no question that we are dealing with a conspiracy theory here, Alex. If you think there is a question, you will have to provide a source showing otherwise. Your failure to do so after repeated requests tells me you are misusing this talk page. Viriditas (talk) 00:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
V, if you do not strike these personal attacks immediately I am going to bring proceedings against you. You have had three formal warnings and I am not tolerating this any longer. All your graph shows is that I've spent 51.6% on talk pages generally. The fact that I spend another 12.5% of my time responding to bullying from climate change activists at my talk page is not particularly relevant to this article. Alex Harvey (talk) 01:39, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, I'm concerned that you are misusing the talk page. Is that a personal attack? You have not addressed or refuted the central point of this discussion, yet you keep saying it is wrong without evidence. Your use of the article talk page represents 51.6% of your time here. Perhaps your time would be best spent elsewhere? Viriditas (talk) 01:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Might I suggest that both of you dial it back a notch or two and focus on the article rather than each other? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Over half of V's sources in the global warming conspiracy theory subsection here are editorials, and not conceivably reliable. (I include the Nature editorial he refers to as a "news story". Nature does not publish "news".) There's still enough there to support it being a conspiracy theory, but Alex's source saying it is not the same global warming conspiracy theory seems adequate to exclude that connection being made in the lede, without a scholarly analysis of the secondary sources. Furthermore, all of V's paragraphs include his interpretation of the source, which is (in at least two cases) clearly not supported by the actual source.
As Dave previously suggested, V should work on the body of the article, rather than including statements in the lede without an actual reference in the lede, or the material appearing in the body of the article. If the body of the article would support the statements he's making, I'd support them in the lede, but adding controversial statements in the lede without a source is a violation of the pillars.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Arthur Rubin (talkcontribs) 04:55, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, that is not correct. Half of my sources are not editorials or opinion pieces, and the only reason I've added them at all is to show the parity in opinion on this subject from climate skeptics to scientists, from journalists to politicians. What you don't understand is, when we are examining the literature, we look at all sides, even editorials and opinions. It doesn't, however, mean we use them to base our article upon. I've used them to show that there is no disagreement in the literature. Everyone is agreed that it is a conspiracy theory, even the climate skeptics. There are plenty of scholarly, academic, news, and primary sources also supporting this opinion, and I've included them above. In conclusion, that this is considered a conspiracy theory is shown at every level of sourcing, from primary to secondary to tertiary. Nature does, in fact, publish news stories.[148] Arthur, I'm getting very tired of correcting your errors in every discussion. Are you doing this on purpose? Your comment that Alex's source says it is not the same conspiracy is another error. There is only one conspiracy under discussion here. We have scholarly analysis, opinions from academics and journalists, and straight news stories all agreeing that the allegations are based on a conspiracy theory. We even have climate skeptics and climate skeptic sources calling it a conspiracy. There is no dispute here at all. You can't just use the talk page to claim there is a dispute when one does not exist. What exactly is the substance of your objection, Arthur? It sounds a lot like "I don't like it". When we have chemist Neil Winterton of the University of Liverpool describing it as a conspiracy in his textbook, when we have Tom Hollihan, professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism calling it a conspiracy, when we have environmental scientist Hadyn Washington classifying it as a conspiracy and explaining the argument in detail in his book, when we have sociologist Ted Goertzel calling it a conspiracy in an academic source, when we have sources like Nature, Newsweek and Information World Review calling it a conspiracy, when we have the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change publishing a report and calling the claims a conspiracy, then we have reliable sources supporting our wording. Tell me, which reliable sources dispute this wording? Viriditas (talk) 05:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Two serious errors in your analysis. I don't dispute that it is a conspiracy theory; although not supported in the body, at present, I don't see any reason to dispute it. I dispute that it is what we call a global warming conspiracy theory. And your analysis of the first two sources requires original research to obtain your results. I haven't checked your major rewrite yet, but if it is only of the lede, and not reflected in the body, I will revert it again. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:34, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, your objection makes no sense. It is called a global warming conspiracy because that is what the sources call it. Arthur, please show how this conspiracy theory is different than the global warming conspiracy. As you have been repeatedly reminded Arthur, the lead can summarize the topic without mentioning every word in the body. And as you were previously informed, the guideline recommends expanding the body in response to any concerns, not deleting or reverting. Surely, Arthur, you will expand the body as the guideline recommends? I do not understand your revert, Arthur.[149] Could you please provide a detailed explanation of your changes? For example:
  • Why did you change "hacked" to "breached" when the majority of our most current, reliable sources (many of which are already in the current article) say "hacked", not breached?
  • Why did you de-link global warming conspiracy theory and replace it with global warming conspiracy theory?
  • Why did you replace "conspiracy theory arose in the blogosphere, with climate sceptics claiming" with "conspiracy theory arose in the climate sceptic blogosphere, including claims?
  • Why did you replace "leading commentators to speculate", which is a perfectly valid summary of the article and our sources, with "leading some commentators to speculate", and then add the {{who?}} and {{weasel-inline}} tags to your own addition of weasel wording? Why are you insisting that we have to specify the names of many different people to a claim widely sourced in the literature?
Please answer these questions about your edits, Arthur. Please do not give me reasons that amount to "because" or "I don't like it". Please use sources to justify your edits. Thanks. Viriditas (talk) 08:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The majority, but not all of the sources, say "hacked" rather than "breached". However due to a recent rewrite of WP:RS, agreed to at WP:RSN, the only allowable source is the police report, which says "data breach". UEA says "hacked", but that's clearly not reliable, as self-serving. Wired said "probably leaked".
I delinking global warming conspiracy theory because, according to a reliable source supplied by Alex, it's not the same conspiracy theory. Only "conspiracy" is demonstrated from the body; conspiracy theory is a small synthesis, but probably allowable from your sources, but global warming conspiracy theory is a larger synthesis.
The rewrite to "conspiracy theory arose in climate sceptic blogosphere" is what is actually demonstrated; you're still implying that all allegations were by climate sceptics; my rewrite suggests that all allegations arose in a climate sceptic context (probably by climate sceptics), which is what the sources say. Neither is really supported by the body, but I would be willing to accept it if you don't add other synthesis or original research.
"Commentators" really is a weasel word, regardless of whether "some" is there, and speculation which probably shouldn't be the body shouldn't be in the lede. "Leading commentators to speculate" is a separate connection, probably not reliably sourced. Removing the connection by separating it to "Commentators{{weasel-inline}} speculate..." is probably closer to what we can say. "Some commentators" is still better, because we have at least one, from your sources, who denied the connection. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 13:04, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
In response:
  1. I don't agree that breached is the only term allowed, and the majority of RS say hacked. Please explain the difference between "hacked" and "breached" (there is none) and provide a legitimate rationale for preferring one over the other. Please do not point me to a general guideline or noticeboard without an exact link to a discussion.
  2. I don't agree with your reason for de-linking. You say that there is more than one conspiracy under discussion and you claim you made your edit based on a RS from Alex. Please provide that RS in the form of a link in your response. I should not have to keep requesting that you provide links in your responses. How many times have I asked you to do this? I do not believe we are dealing with two conspiracies here, and the RS are clear on this point. For example, Newsweek says the hacked CRU e-mails "establish that global warming is a scientific conspiracy" and that climategate "will probably continue to be cited as evidence of a global-warming conspiracy".[150] There is no ambiguity here, Arthur. When we are talking about climate conspiracies, which is what all the sources I've offered above are talking about, we are referring to global warming conspiracy theory.
  3. I don't agree with your change to the conspiracy theory allegations statement. All of the reliable sources attribute major allegations of conspiracy to climate skeptics. Even the primary sources are clear on this.
  4. I don't agree with your claims about the word "commentators". It is not and never has been a "weasel word". It is an accurate summary of multiple sources. "Leading commentators to speculate" is accurate and based on the sources. "Some commentators" is not better as you claim, it is in fact an example of weasel wording, and you added it. Arthur, can you name the sources who have commented on the connection between climategate and Copenhagen?
Please add the URL's and links to discussions you refer to in your reply. Viriditas (talk) 23:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Arthur, 'Climategate' is not a 'conspiracy theory', and 'conspiracy theory' is not neutral. The idea that a 'conspiracy theory' would be investigated by six inquiries paid for by taxpayers is ridiculous. It also needs to be remembered that an 'allegation of a conspiracy' -- supported by reliable sources although completely failing weight sufficient for elevation to the lead -- is not the same thing as a 'conspiracy theory', as the first is a neutral description of some of the allegations, whereas the second connotes fringe nuttery. And of course, it is precisely because editors like these connotations that we are even having this argument. NPOV is abundantly clear that Wikipedia's voice should not use loaded terms like this, and absolutely not in the lead. Please do not be beaten into submission on this point. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:49, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, climate skeptics made allegations of a global warming conspiracy against CRU's climate scientists. This statement is supported by the primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, and some of those sources have been added above. The idea that the conspiracy theory alleged by climate skeptics was investigated by 6-8 investigations (some sources are saying it is 8 total now) is not ridiculous at all. We are having this argument because you refuse to recognize that the sources show, without question, that climate skeptics were pushing a global warming conspiracy, and that these conspiracy claims formed and continue to form the backbone of the manufactured controversy known as "climategate". In their book, Climate Change Denial (2011), John Cook and Hadyn Washington describe the global warming conspiracy theory as one of five arguments used by deniers: conspiracy, fake experts, impossible expectations, misrepresentations and logical fallacies, and cherry-picking. Although "climategate" was composed of all five, the primary allegations were founded on allegations of a global warming conspiracy by CRU climate scientists. When you read the statements from the climate skeptics (some of which I include above), you'll find these rhetorical techniques for denial implicit in their claims against CRU, almost as if they are reading off of a denialist script. As I show in the transcript above, British Conservative Party politician Peter Lilley gave an interview with RT, touching upon all five denialist arguments outlined by Cook & Washington. When you look at the claims made by Hannity, Inhofe, Delingpole, and the others, you see the same arguments, the same talking points, the same script. First they start out with allegations of a conspiracy, then they move on to the four denial arguments. It's as if the conspiracy claims are made mostly for shock value, in order to get the attention of their audience, which is why they often lead in the headlines and the first and second paragraphs of news articles; conspiracies make for good sound bites, perhaps. When Alex denies that a conspiracy theory underlies the entirety of climategate, he is ignoring the sources. Does Alex also deny that the manufactured climategate controversy made use of fake experts, impossible expectations, misrepresentations and logical fallacies, and cherry-picking? Does Alex deny all five of these arguments form the foundation of climategate? Viriditas (talk) 23:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Can you please show a list of exclusively reliable sources (so please delete from your list all op-eds, blogs & primary sources etc.), published after August 2010 to satisfy your own criteria, that assert that allegations made by skeptics are a conspiracy theory of any kind. Note that a conspiracy is not the same thing as a conspiracy theory. So we are not interested in sources that use the word 'conspiracy' ('conspire' etc.), but only those that explicitly describe allegations as a conspiracy theory. In other words, it must use the actual, loaded term, 'conspiracy theory', that you are so determined to use. Note further that conspiracy theory is said by Wikipedia & other sources as being predominantly a pejorative term. If you actually have sources that meet these requirements then we should discuss weight & neutrality. Alex Harvey (talk) 06:51, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Alex, please take a moment to review WP:RS and its related pages, as you seem to be unfamiliar with what it entails. All of the sources I have provided are "exclusively reliable". If you have a particular problem with a specific source, be sure to raise it here on the talk page, where we discuss ways to improve the article. Rational people working in good faith will agree that there is no difference between the conspiracy theory posited in the sources and our article on global warming conspiracy theory, and in fact, they are identical. In order to demonstrate your assertion, I have repeatedly asked you to explain, in detail, using the best sources at hand, exactly what the serious/major allegations of the climate skeptics were said to be in this case. You have repeatedly failed to do this, because the most serious of their allegations, as the sources show, were to restate the global warming conspiracy theory, over and over and over again. This is not in dispute by anyone, and there is no doubt or uncertainty here. If you feel there is, you will show (as I have repeatedly asked you to do with no response) exactly how the most serious claims of the climate skeptics differ from the global warming conspiracy theory, as stated by the best sources on the subject and the best sources on this subject. As you will notice, the claims are identical, which is why our sources refer to it as a global warming conspiracy. Your bizarre attempt to distract from this uncontested fact by inventing the idea that this conspiracy is somehow different from that conspiracy theory, is not just unsupported, it is pure fantasy. Again, provide sources for this assertion (as I have repeatedly asked you to do) or stop making it. To recap, you have repeatedly claimed without sources, that this is not a global warming conspiracy. You now need to provide sources supporting your claim. Since you don't appear to know how to do this, I'll try to help you: first, start by making a list of the primary allegations made by climate skeptics against CRU, supported by the best sources on the subject. Once you've done that, I'll respond. Until you do this, there is nothing to discuss, because at this point, you are just making stuff up. Viriditas (talk) 07:21, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Okay, let's start at the start. Why are you are including James Delingpole's blog as a reliable source? Alex Harvey (talk) 09:02, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Alex, in order for me to "include" a reliable source, it would have to be added to this article. As I have previously explained, when we do research, it is important to look at all of the sources, including the primary, secondary, and tertiary literature. Including such sources in the article is an entirely different matter. Now, with that said, if you had done your homework, you would know that Delingpole has been covered by secondary sources. There is a huge difference between adding a source to the talk page for review in the context of cross-referencing, and adding it to this article. For our purposes, Delingpole's opinion is reliable for his own article and for statements of opinion for paid writers published by the The Daily Telegraph. You appear to have not read Wikipedia:RS#Statements_of_opinion. In any case, as you have been informed, this has no bearing at all on this discussion. The purpose in showing Delingpole's opinions as published by The Daily Telegraph is to illustrate the parity between the primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, not to argue for the inclusion of Delingpole's opinion, although if secondary sources have covered it like Eric Pooley did on p. 426 of The Climate War (2010), it is fair game. But, as I said, I am not all that interested in adding it to this article, but rather using it to show the parity of the allegations. I'll be offline for the next two hours, so I won't be able to offer you a quick reply if you respond. Viriditas (talk) 09:22, 12 May 2011 (UTC)